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Acquisition of Coal Rights—It's Different

Garner R. Stroud, Proceedings of 21st Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1975)

Well, the name of the speech is Coal Acquisition and that is the name of the game. It is not easy and it is not fast. It is not an endeavor that will appeal to the faint of heart or to one who suffers from a shortage of perseverance.

Success requires dedication to the principle that coal mining deals with a wasting asset and that the reserves from which the coal is removed, the very stuff of its existence, must be replaced, replenished and enlarged. My own company, which is not large by some standards, must replace about two million tons per month just to stay even. [588] To remain a viable factor in the energy picture it must acquire four times that amount in new reserves.

The landman who will succeed in this field is characterized by certain personality traits which include enthusiasm, imagination, patience, discretion, and above all, the aforementioned virtue of perseverance. These attributes are essentialnot optional. If you are selecting a land staff to acquire coal, you will ignore personality factors at your company's peril and in supporting and sustaining that land staff it is good to remember that it is much easier to tone down enthusiasm than to rekindle quenched fires.

In addition, the coal landman and the land staff must develop a philosophy wholeheartedly dedicated to a persistent long range program of coal acquisition without undue rega