United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 11, 2019
A coal lease shall be for a term of twenty years and for so long thereafter as coal is produced annually in commercial quantities from that lease. Any lease which is not producing in commercial quantities at the end of ten years shall be terminated. The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe annual rentals on leases. A lease shall require payment of a royalty in such amount as the Secretary shall determine of not less than 12½ per centum of the value of coal as defined by regulation, except the Secretary may determine a lesser amount in the case of coal recovered by underground mining operations. The lease shall include such other terms and conditions as the Secretary shall determine. Such rentals and royalties and other terms and conditions of the lease will be subject to readjustment at the end of its primary term of twenty years and at the end of each ten-year period thereafter if the lease is extended.
Prior to taking any action on a leasehold which might cause a significant disturbance of the environment, the lessee shall submit for the Secretary’s approval an operation and reclamation plan. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove the plan or require that it be modified. Where the land involved is under the surface jurisdiction of another Federal agency, that other agency must consent to the terms of such approval.