2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 31 - Mineral Code
RS 31:115 - Requirement of term; limitation of continuation without drilling or mining operations or production
§115. Requirement of term; limitation of continuation without drilling or mining operations or production
A. The interest of a mineral lessee is not subject to the prescription of nonuse, but the lease must have a term. Except as provided in this Article, a lease shall not be continued for a period of more than ten years without drilling or mining operations or production. Except as provided in this Article, if a mineral lease permits continuance for a period greater than ten years without drilling or mining operations or production, the period is reduced to ten years.
B. A lease granting the right to explore for and produce solid minerals, except lignite or other forms of coal, may provide for continuation for a period greater than ten years by the payment of rent at least annually if at the time it is extended beyond ten years a hard mineral susceptible of production in paying quantities has been discovered on the land leased, if the lessee has commenced actual mining operations on neighboring land for production of the mineral discovered, and if the plan of development for such mining operations includes the ultimate production of the discovered mineral from the land leased. Such a lease may be maintained by such payments only as long as the operations are continued with the diligence of a reasonably prudent operator without cessation for more than six calendar months but in no event may the lease be maintained by such payments for longer than twenty years.
C.(1) Any lease, granting the right to explore for and produce lignite or another form of coal, which is included within a mining plan and upon which no actual operations have begun, may provide for an extension beyond the initial ten year term for a period of thirty years by the payment of rent, an advance royalty payment or any other form of periodic payment to the lessor, provided the following requirements are satisfied:
(a) Lignite or another form of coal susceptible of being mined has been discovered as a result of acts committed on the land or due to acts providing a reasonable basis of proof of the discovery of the mineral.
(b) A mining plan for the ultimate production of lignite or other forms of coal, together with a permit issued by the commissioner of conservation, is filed in the conveyance records of the parish or parishes in which the leased land is located.
(c) The mining plan, along with any amendments thereto, provides for the ultimate production of the lignite or other forms of coal from the land leased.
(d) Actual mining operations have begun on land included in the plan, although such operations are not being conducted on the lease being extended.
(2) The mining plan may authorize removal of lignite or other forms of coal from different seams, beds or other deposits and from noncontiguous tracts of land, provided such operations are so integrated as to constitute a single mining plan.
(3) A lease granting the right to explore for and produce lignite or other forms of coal may be extended by payments pursuant to this Subsection as long as mining operations under the plan continue with the diligence of a reasonably prudent operator without cessation for more than five years.
(4) The lease granting the right to explore for and produce lignite or other forms of coal may not be extended for a period greater than forty years unless there have been actual mining operations or production on the land leased or on land unitized therewith.
D. Parties may not contract contrary to the provisions of this Article except to the extent of providing for time periods less than those provided herein or otherwise to increase the obligations of the lessee.
Acts 1974, No. 50, §115, eff. Jan. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1976, No. 129, §1; Acts 1980, No. 122, §1; Acts 1982, No. 780, §1.