77-3-312. Leasing procedures. (1) (a) Prior to issuing a coal mining lease, the board shall evaluate the coal and land proposed to be leased for the purpose of determining the fair market value of any coal reserves located on the land, giving opportunity for and consideration to public comments on the evaluation.
(b) (i) The board may determine fair market value by competitive bid or through an appraisal.
(ii) If no competitive bids are offered on the coal and land to be leased, the board may enter into a lease that is at least at the full market value as determined by the appraisal pursuant to subsection (1)(b)(i).
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), leases must be awarded by a competitive bid system, including a bonus bid for the first year's rental that may be amortized for a period of up to 5 years at the discretion of the board, and a lease may not be awarded at less than fair market value.