Montana Code Annotated 2019



Part 3. Coal

Duration Of Lease

77-3-314. Duration of lease. (1) (a) Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), coal mining leases must be issued for a primary term of 10 years and for as long thereafter as coal is produced from lands in commercial quantities.

(b) If a lease under this part or a corresponding permit issued pursuant to Title 82, chapter 4, parts 1 and 2, is challenged before an administrative agency or in court, the primary term of the lease must be extended for the period of time that the lease or permit was subject to challenge.

(2) A lease not producing coal in commercial quantities at the end of the primary term must be terminated, unless the leased lands are described in a strip mine permit issued under 82-4-221 or in a mine-site location permit under 82-4-122 prior to the end of the primary term, and the lease may not be terminated so long as the lands are covered and described under valid permit.

(3) For the purpose of this part:

(a) "commercial quantities" means that quantity of coal that can be sold at profit in the commercial market;

(b) "covered and described" under a valid permit or "described" in a strip mine or mine-site location permit means that the leased lands or a portion of the leased lands within or outside of the boundaries of the permit area are expected to be affected or disturbed at some point during the life of the permittee's strip-mining or underground-mining operation and are identified in the permittee's permit application.

History: En. Sec. 39, Ch. 60, L. 1927; re-en. Sec. 1805.39, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 257, L. 1965; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 121, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 22, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 291, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 31, Ch. 428, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 358, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 81-502(part); amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 332, L. 2011.