Conversion to mining contract.
The holder of any prospecting lease shall have a preference right to a mining contract on the premises described in the lease if application therefor is made to the department at least one hundred eighty days prior to the expiration of the prospecting lease.
A lessee applying for a mining contract shall furnish plans for development leading toward production. The plans shall address the reclamation of the property. A mining contract shall be for a term of twenty years.
The first year of the contract and each year thereafter, the lessee shall perform development work in cost amounts as set by the board. The lessee may make payment to the department in lieu of development work.
The lessee may at any time give notice of intent to terminate the contract if all of the covenants of the contract including reclamation are met. The notice of termination of contract shall be made by giving written notice together with copies of all information obtained from the premises. The contract shall terminate sixty days thereafter if all arrears and sums which are due under the contract up to the time of termination have been paid.
The lessee shall have sixty days from the termination date of the contract in which to remove improvements, except those necessary for the safety and maintenance of mine workings, from the premises without material damage to the land or subsurface covered by the contract. However, the lessee shall upon written request to the department be granted an extension where forces beyond the control of the lessee prevent removal of the improvements within sixty days.
Any lessee not converting a prospecting lease to a mining contract shall not be entitled to a new prospecting lease on the lease premises for one year from the expiration date of the prior lease. Such lands included in the prospecting lease shall be open to application by any person other than the prior lessee, and the lessee's agents or associates during the year period described above.
[2003 c 334 § 405; 1987 c 20 § 7; 1965 c 56 § 7; 1927 c 255 § 159; RRS § 7797-159. Prior: 1901 c 151 § 4. Formerly RCW 79.01.632, 78.20.060.]
| Intent -- 2003 c 334: See note following RCW 79.02.010.|