Silica mining experts and leases

We have an extremely rich silica mining claim that we have a badly negotiated lease on. Currently leased to a large company with existing operations and claims next door. Had some general questions.

  1. What general options do we have? Are their other companies that would come in and set up operations? Or are we likely stuck negotiating with the existing company? If so what leverage do we have for them to not screw us? Are their investors who would finance stand alone new operations?

  2. Who is the best attorney/engineers/experts to contact to give us a good analysis? We found out our attorney that we used last time was best friends with the attorney he was negotiating against.

  3. Anybody know what the typical leasing rates are for mining claims like this? I believe we’re at ~2% per ton.

I noticed that wholesale rates are about $15/ton in 50 lb bags. Mining is machinery intensive and comes with heavy monitoring for both the environmental aspects and individually for each employee.

You say you have a poorly negotiated lease. In what way? For how long? Leases are contracts and should have been reviewed by a knowledgeable expert to determine the pit value and, by an attorney for the legal parts before signing. Who did your negotiating?

I am not an expert, so the following is only my two cents. Do you have a fixed term lease which ends on a date certain? If not, it would seem likely that you would be locked in to its terms until the lessee concludes its operations. I believe you can find examples of surface leases for sand on Relinquishment Act Lands in Winkler County, Texas. Search “GLO GIS Map Viewer” in a search engine, open the map viewer, and look for yellow highlighted tracts in the sand dunes area NE of Kermit, Texas. Surface owners of Relinquishment Act Lands negotiate the leases which must be approved by the GLO. So if you find a surface lease for sand, you will have a GLO drafted/approved lease exemplar. But not all laws apply equally, e.g., what applies for State of Texas may not directly translate into private lands lease, especially if you are not in Texas.

Sample Mining Lease from Texas GLO

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