Verification of Coal Quanities, Confirmation of Cost?

We own a third interest of a 400 acre tract in which Walnut Mining owns the other 2/3's. To begin with, this land has been in my family before Texas was a State, and before Texas was Texas! (We have the original deed from the Spanish Government!)

With that said, Walnut mining is pushing us to sell outright our remaining interest. They have offered to buy the land, the coal beneath, and we would retain the mineral rights to the oil and gas. They have offered $ 0.50 per ton. Seems that coal should be more than that. Also, They have been trying to get us to sell and we have requested bore logs and finally received them after four (4) years of asking. Unfortunately they aren't bore reports, but a seismic report. The issue we have is the actual quantity of coal beneath and the going rate. We have been told in the past that it is as much as 13 feet thick, recently they told us 11 feet thick, but their offer is only for a little over 8 feet thick.
1) Can we go back to the testing entity to intrepret these reports? or since they completed these for Walnut Mining, will they not give us this information?
2) Where / who could we get to confirm the thickness of the coal and the going price for the coal?

Dear Dan,

There are at least 12 counties in Texas that have produced coal that I know of and most of that has been lignite, or brown coal from surface mines associated with the Wilcox outcrop that trends NE-SW from the Northeast corner of the State to Laredo on the Mexican border. However, medium to high volatile deposits are known to exist West of Fort Worth to the Oklahoma border. One Cretaceous deposit has been identified in the Big Bend Area of Texas. The heating quality of the coal (Btu's/llb.) greatly influence the value of the coal in the ground. The age of deposition of the coal influences the heating value so the geologic location will influence the value as well.

In addition to the coal value, the mine-ability of the coal is very important in your evaluation because in Texas, surface mineable deposits may belong to the surface owner and not the mineral owner if the minerals have been severed.

Unless Walnut has some sort of executive right over your interest, you should be able to determine what sort of deal works for both parties in a transaction through negotiations based on scientific knowledge of the coal deposit. My decades of experience in mineral transactions makes me caution you about protecting your rights to oil and gas minerals in any transaction that releases your coal rights. Perhaps a sale is not the right long term economic answer for you.

I have considerable proprietary data on Texas deposits at my disposal and will be happy to recommend an experienced coal engineer and evaluator as well as a mineral attorney that can help you. I would like to know the area and if you want to hold that information in confidence you can contact me by PM. With 4000 acres of senior deed rights, you should know all you can before concluding a sale.

Hi Gary,

Thank you for the reply.

To begin with, the property is 40 miles north of Bryan / College Station near Bremond, Texas. Walnut Mining is currently mining there and our property is one the next ones that they are planning on mining. Basically, we need someone to confirm thickness or quantities of coal, the market selling price (in the ground) of coal and if they can force us to sell (eminent domain). Being that it has been in our family since before Texas was a County and State, it would be a shame to be forced to sell.................

Thanks in advance.