Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 6. Coal Mining Property, Interests, Adjacent Owners, and Dams

§ 45.2-607. Production of coal by majority interest owner; petition to establish trust for known coal owners.

A. Any coal owner or lessee who (i) has at least a two-thirds interest in the coal on a particular tract of land and (ii) seeks to extract such coal may petition the circuit court in the county or city containing the majority of the tract of coal to establish a trust for known coal owners and lessees.

B. The petition shall:

1. Describe the particular tract of coal at issue;

2. List all known owners of interests in the tract of coal; and

3. Include the proposed terms of a lease to be offered to each minority owner. Such lease shall be typical of other arm's-length leases in the area.

C. The petitioner shall establish to the satisfaction of the court that a diligent effort has been made to obtain the consent of each minority owner to lease his interest in the coal. The petitioner shall demonstrate to the court that (i) the production of the coal by the petitioner's lessee is of economic benefit to all parties; (ii) if the coal is not produced, the economic value of the coal is lost and the economic benefit of owning the coal is decreased; and (iii) there is no practical method for dividing such coal among the owners without extracting the coal.

D. Immediately upon filing the petition, the petitioner shall send by registered or certified mail, with a return receipt requested, notice of the petition to the party subject to the petition.

E. The court may appoint a trustee and authorize the trustee to execute a lease pursuant to § 45.2-604.

F. The court shall escrow or direct the trustee to escrow the proceeds of the lease attributable to each of the minority interests until such minority owner's claim is established to the satisfaction of the court.

2003, c. 775, § 45.1-161.311:8; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.