SEC. 93-13-43. Lease of gas, oil and other mineral rights.
(1) When it would be for the interest of a ward, the guardian of said ward is hereby empowered to lease and grant oil, gas and other mineral rights, in consideration of the payment of an annual rental and/or a royalty or part or portion of the production thereof, upon such terms and for such length of time as may be for the best interests of the estate of his ward. A petition for said purpose shall be filed in the chancery court, setting forth the reasons why such lease should be made and the benefits to be derived therefrom, and a summons shall issue for the near relations of the ward as provided in section 93-13-281. When the process has been duly served, the court in termtime or chancellor in vacation shall examine the allegations and evidence introduced by the guardian, and also the objections and evidence of those, if any, who may appear and object. If, on the hearing, the court be satisfied that the interest of the ward will be promoted by a lease as herein provided, it may authorize the guardian to enter into such lease on behalf of the ward and prescribe the terms and conditions thereof and may require the guardian to give an additional bond, if necessary, faithfully to account for the proceeds of said lease. The notice to the near relations herein provided for shall be not less than ten (10) days before the hearing by the chancellor of the petition. In the event the near relations of the ward shall join in the petition in compliance with section 93-13-281, the notice and summons herein provided shall not be required and said matter shall be proceeded with ex parte.
(2) When a ward, who has no guardian of his estate duly appointed and qualified pursuant to the laws of Mississippi, owns a mineral interest in real estate situated in the state, and an offer is made to lease the mineral interest on terms of an original consideration or bonus of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), a primary term of not more than five (5) years, a royalty provision of not less than the one-eighth (1/8) of the oil which may be produced from the mineral interest, and reasonable royalty provisions as to all other minerals, a petition may be filed in the chancery court of the residence of the ward or in the chancery court wherein the mineral interest is located requesting approval and authority to execute the lease. The petition shall be brought by the ward by his next friend, and it shall join as defendants the parties provided in section 93-13-281, or the parties designated by section 93-13-281 may join and unite with the ward in the petition.
The court shall carefully consider the allegations of the petition and, if the court is satisfied from the evidence presented or otherwise that the proposed terms of the lease are adequate and reasonable and that it would be to the best interest of the ward that the lease be executed according to its terms, then the court may enter an order approving the proposed lease. The court or chancellor may direct the clerk to execute the lease to the lessee on the payment of the original bonus or consideration fixed and may direct the clerk to pay over the proceeds as provided in sections 93-13-211, provided that no part of the cost of said proceedings shall be taxed against said ward or his interests.
Any royalty payments which may accrue under the lease shall be paid according to the provisions of section 93-13-215 and any delay rentals which may be paid shall be paid according to the provisions of section 93-13-213, but if the amounts to be paid are in excess of the sums set forth in those sections, a guardian must then be appointed to receive the same.
SOURCES: Codes, 1930, Sec. 1879; 1942, Sec. 415; Laws, 1930, ch 38; 1972, ch. 408, Sec. 10; 1981, ch. 442, Sec. 1, eff from and after July 1, 1981.