Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining

Article 2. Known Coal Owners.

§ 45.1-161.311:8. Production of coal by majority interest owner; petition to establish trust for known coal owners.

A. Any person or persons or lessee with at least two-thirds interest in coal on a particular tract of land, who is seeking to extract such coal, may petition the circuit court in the county or city containing the majority of the tract to establish a trust.

B. The petition shall:

1. List all known owners; and

2. Include the proposed terms of a lease to be offered to the minority owners, which 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 minority owners' consent to lease their interest in the coal. The petitioner shall demonstrate to the court that (i) production of the coal by the petitioner's lessee is of economic benefit to all parties, (ii) if the coal is not produced, then 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 § 45.1-161.311:5.

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

2003, c. 775.

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

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