Title 30 - MINERAL LANDS AND MINING
Chapter 3A - LEASES AND PROSPECTING PERMITS
Subchapter I - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 184 - Limitations on leases held, owned or controlled by persons, associations or corporations
No person, association, or corporation, or any subsidiary, affiliate, or persons controlled by or under common control with such person, association, or corporation shall take, hold, own or control at one time, whether acquired directly from the Secretary under this chapter or otherwise, coal leases or permits on an aggregate of more than 75,000 acres in any one State and in no case greater than an aggregate of 150,000 acres in the United States: Provided, That any person, association, or corporation currently holding, owning, or controlling more than an aggregate of 150,000 acres in the United States on the date of enactment of this section shall not be required on account of this section to relinquish said leases or permits: Provided, further, That in no case shall such person, association, or corporation be permitted to take, hold, own, or control any further Federal coal leases or permits until such time as their holdings, ownership, or control of Federal leases or permits has been reduced below an aggregate of 150,000 acres within the United States.
Sodium leases or permits, acreage
- No person, association, or corporation, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, shall take, hold, own, or control at one time, whether acquired directly from the Secretary under this chapter, or otherwise, sodium leases or permits on an aggregate of more than five thousand one hundred and twenty acres in any one State.
- The Secretary may, in his discretion, where the same is necessary in order to secure the economic mining of sodium compounds leasable under this chapter, permit a person, association, or corporation to take or hold sodium leases or permits on up to 30,720 acres in any one State.
Phosphate leases, acreage
No person, association, or corporation shall take, hold, own, or control at one time, whether acquired directly from the Secretary under this chapter, or otherwise, phosphate leases or permits on an aggregate of more than twenty thousand four hundred and eighty acres in the United States.
Oil or gas leases, acreage, Alaska; options, semi-annual statements
- No person, association, or corporation, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, shall take, hold, own or control at one time, whether acquired directly from the Secretary under this chapter, or otherwise, oil or gas leases (including options for such leases or interests therein) on land held under the provisions of this chapter exceeding in the aggregate two hundred forty-six thousand and eighty acres in any one State other than Alaska  Provided, however, That acreage held in special tar sand areas, and acreage under any lease any portion of which has been committed to a federally approved unit or cooperative plan or communitization agreement or for which royalty (including compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding calendar year, shall not be chargeable against such State limitations. In the case of the State of Alaska, the limit shall be three hundred thousand acres in the northern leasing district and three hundred thousand acres in the southern leasing district, and the boundary between said two districts shall be the left limit of the Tanana River from the border between the United States and Canada to the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers, and the left limit of the Yukon River from said confluence to its principal southern mouth.
- No person, association, or corporation shall take, hold, own, or control at one time options to acquire interests in oil or gas leases under the provisions of this chapter which involve, in the aggregate, more than two hundred thousand acres of land in any one State other than Alaska, or, in the case of Alaska, more than two hundred thousand acres in each of its two leasing districts, as hereinbefore described. No option to acquire any interest in such an oil or gas lease shall be enforcible if entered into for a period of more than three years (which three years shall be inclusive of any renewal period if a right to renew is reserved by any party to the option) without the prior approval of the Secretary. In any case in which an option to acquire the optionor’s entire interest in the whole or a part of the acreage under a lease is entered into, the acreage to which the option is applicable shall be charged both to the optionor and to the optionee, but the charge to the optionor shall cease when the option is exercised. In any case in which an option to acquire a part of the optionor’s interest in the whole or a part of the acreage under a lease is entered into, the acreage to which the option is applicable shall be fully charged to the optionor and a share thereof shall also be charged to the optionee, as his interest may appear, but after the option is exercised said acreage shall be charged to the parties pro rata as their interests may appear. In any case in which an assignment is made of a part of a lessee’s interest in the whole or part of the acreage under a lease or an application for a lease, the acreage shall be charged to the parties pro rata as their interests may appear. No option or renewal thereof shall be enforcible until notice thereof has been filed with the Secretary or an officer or employee of the Department of the Interior designated by him to receive the same. Each such notice shall include, in addition to any other matters prescribed by the Secretary, the names and addresses of the parties thereto, the serial number of the lease or application for a lease to which the option is applicable, and a statement of the number of acres covered thereby and of the interests and obligations of the parties thereto and shall be subscribed by all parties to the option or their duly authorized agents. An option which has not been exercised shall remain charged as hereinbefore provided until notice of its relinquishment or surrender has been filed, by either party, with the Secretary or any officer or employee of the Department of the Interior designated by him to receive the same. In addition, each holder of any such option shall file with the Secretary or an officer or employee of the Department of the Interior as aforesaid within ninety days after the 30th day of June and the 31st day of December in each year a statement showing, in addition to any other matters prescribed by the Secretary, his name, the name and address of each grantor of an option held by him, the serial number of every lease or application for a lease to which such an option is applicable, the number of acres covered by each such option, the total acreage in each State to which such options are applicable, and his interest and obligation under each such option. The failure of the holder of an option so to file shall render the option unenforcible  by him. The unenforcibility  of any option under the provisions of this paragraph shall not diminish the number of acres deemed to be held under option by any person, association, or corporation in computing the amount chargeable under the first sentence of this paragraph and shall not relieve any party thereto of any liability to cancellation, forfeiture, forced disposition, or other sanction provided by law. The Secretary may prescribe forms on which the notice and statements required by this paragraph shall be made.
Association or stockholder interests, conditions; combined interests
- No person, association, or corporation shall take, hold, own or control at one time any interest as a member of an association or as a stockholder in a corporation holding a lease, option, or permit under the provisions of this chapter which, together with the area embraced in any direct holding, ownership or control by him of such a lease, option, or permit or any other interest which he may have as a member of other associations or as a stockholder in other corporations holding, owning or controlling such leases, options, or permits for any kind of minerals, exceeds in the aggregate an amount equivalent to the maximum number of acres of the respective kinds of minerals allowed to any one lessee, optionee, or permittee under this chapter, except that no person shall be charged with his pro rata share of any acreage holdings of any association or corporation unless he is the beneficial owner of more than 10 per centum of the stock or other instruments of ownership or control of such association or corporation, and except that within three years after September 2, 1960 no valid option in existence prior to September 2, 1960 held by a corporation or association on September 2, 1960 shall be chargeable to any stockholder of such corporation or to a member of such association so long as said option shall be so held by such corporation or association under the provisions of this chapter.
- No contract for development and operation of any lands leased under this chapter, whether or not coupled with an interest in such lease, and no lease held, owned, or controlled in common by two or more persons, associations, or corporations shall be deemed to create a separate association under the preceding paragraph of this subsection between or among the contracting parties or those who hold, own or control the lease in common, but the proportionate interest of each such party shall be charged against the total acreage permitted to be held, owned or controlled by such party under this chapter. The total acreage so held, owned, or controlled in common by two or more parties shall not exceed, in the aggregate, an amount equivalent to the maximum number of acres of the respective kinds of minerals allowed to any one lessee, optionee, or permittee under this chapter.
Limitations on other sections; combined interests permitted for certain purposes
Nothing contained in subsection (e) of this section shall be construed (i) to limit sections 227, 228, 251 of this title or (ii), subject to the approval of the Secretary, to prevent any number of lessees under this chapter from combining their several interests so far as may be necessary for the purpose of constructing and carrying on the business of a refinery or of establishing and constructing, as a common carrier, a pipeline or railroad to be operated and used by them jointly in the transportation of oil from their several wells or from the wells of other lessees under this chapter or in the transportation of coal or (iii) to increase the acreage which may be taken, held, owned, or controlled under this section.
Forbidden interests acquired by descent, will, judgment, or decree; permissible holding period
Any ownership or interest otherwise forbidden in this chapter which may be acquired by descent, will, judgment, or decree may be held for two years after its acquisition and no longer.
Cancellation, forfeiture, or disposal of interests for violation; bona fide purchasers and other valid interests; sale by Secretary; record of proceedings
- If any interest in any lease is owned, or controlled, directly or indirectly, by means of stock or otherwise, in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the lease may be canceled, or the interest so owned may be forfeited, or the person so owning or controlling the interest may be compelled to dispose of the interest, in any appropriate proceeding instituted by the Attorney General. Such a proceeding shall be instituted in the United States district court for the district in which the leased property or some part thereof is located or in which the defendant may be found.
- The right to cancel or forfeit for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall not apply so as to affect adversely the title or interest of a bona fide purchaser of any lease, interest in a lease, option to acquire a lease or an interest therein, or permit which lease, interest, option, or permit was acquired and is held by a qualified person, association, or corporation in conformity with those provisions, even though the holdings of the person, association, or corporation from which the lease, interest, option, or permit was acquired, or of his predecessor in title (including the original lessee of the United States) may have been canceled or forfeited or may be or may have been subject to cancellation or forfeiture for any such violation. If, in any such proceeding, an underlying lease, interest, option, or permit is canceled or forfeited to the Government and there are valid interests therein or valid options to acquire the lease or an interest therein which are not subject to cancellation, forfeiture, or compulsory disposition, the underlying lease, interest, option, or permit shall be sold by the Secretary to the highest responsible qualified bidder by competitive bidding under general regulations subject to all outstanding valid interests therein and valid options pertaining thereto. Likewise if, in any such proceeding, less than the whole interest in a lease, interest, option, or permit is canceled or forfeited to the Government, the partial interests so canceled or forfeited shall be sold by the Secretary to the highest responsible qualified bidder by competitive bidding under general regulations. If competitive bidding fails to produce a satisfactory offer the Secretary may, in either of these cases, sell the interest in question by such other method as he deems appropriate on terms not less favorable to the Government than those of the best competitive bid received.
- The commencement and conclusion of every proceeding under this subsection shall be promptly noted on the appropriate public records of the Bureau of Land Management.
Bona fide purchasers, conditions for obtaining dismissals
Effective September 21, 1959, any person, association, or corporation who is a party to any proceeding with respect to a violation of any provision of this chapter, whether initiated prior to said date or thereafter, shall have the right to be dismissed promptly as such a party upon showing that he holds and acquired as a bona fide purchaser the interest involving him as such a party without violating any provisions of this chapter. No hearing upon any such showing shall be required unless the Secretary presents prima facie evidence indicating a possible violation of this chapter on the part of the alleged bona fide purchaser.
Waiver or suspension of rights
If during any such proceeding, a party thereto files with the Secretary a waiver of his rights under his lease (including particularly, where applicable, rights to drill and to assign) or if such rights are suspended by the Secretary pending a decision in the proceeding, whether initiated prior to enactment of this chapter or thereafter, payment of rentals and running of time against the term of the lease or leases involved shall be suspended as of the first day of the month following the filing of the waiver or suspension of the rights until the first day of the month following the final decision in the proceeding or the revocation of the waiver or suspension.
Unlawful trusts; forfeiture
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if any lands or deposits subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be subleased, trusteed, possessed, or controlled by any device permanently, temporarily, directly, indirectly, tacitly, or in any manner whatsoever, so that they form a part of or are in any wise controlled by any combination in the form of an unlawful trust, with the consent of the lessee, optionee, or permittee, or form the subject of any contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade in the mining or selling of coal, phosphate, oil, oil shale, gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons), gas, or sodium entered into by the lessee, optionee, or permittee or any agreement or understanding, written, verbal, or otherwise, to which such lessee, optionee, or permittee shall be a party, of which his or its output is to be or become the subject, to control the price or prices thereof or of any holding of such lands by any individual, partnership, association, corporation, or control in excess of the amounts of lands provided in this chapter, the lease, option, or permit shall be forfeited by appropriate court proceedings.
Rules and regulations; notice to and consultation with Attorney General; application of antitrust laws; definitions
- At each stage in the formulation and promulgation of rules and regulations concerning coal leasing pursuant to this chapter, and at each stage in the issuance, renewal, and readjustment of coal leases under this chapter, the Secretary of the Interior shall consult with and give due consideration to the views and advice of the Attorney General of the United States.
- No coal lease may be issued, renewed, or readjusted under this chapter until at least thirty days after the Secretary of the Interior notifies the Attorney General of the proposed issuance, renewal, or readjustment. Such notification shall contain such information as the Attorney General may require in order to advise the Secretary of the Interior as to whether such lease would create or maintain a situation inconsistent with the antitrust laws. If the Attorney General advises the Secretary of the Interior that a lease would create or maintain such a situation, the Secretary of the Interior may not issue such lease, nor may he renew or readjust such lease for a period not to exceed one year, as the case may be, unless he thereafter conducts a public hearing on the record in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5 and finds therein that such issuance, renewal, or readjustment is necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, that it is consistent with the public interest, and that there are no reasonable alternatives consistent with this chapter, the antitrust laws, and the public interest.
- Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to convey to any person, association, corporation, or other business organization immunity from civil or criminal liability, or to create defenses to actions, under any antitrust law.
- As used in this subsection, the term “antitrust law” means—
- the Act entitled “An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies”, approved July 2, 1890 (15 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), as amended;
- the Act entitled “An Act to supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes”, approved October 15, 1914 (15 U.S.C. 12 et seq.), as amended;
- the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.), as amended;
- sections 73 and 74 of the Act entitled “An Act to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes”, approved August 27, 1894 (15 U.S.C. 8 and 9), as amended; or
- the Act of June 19, 1936, chapter 592 (15 U.S.C. 13, 13a, 13b, and 21a).