(1) To encourage the exploration and development of the state's mineral resources, upon application, accompanied by sworn affidavit, of one or more persons, firms or corporations claiming or owning any mineral interest in a tract of land and upon which mineral production is desired, the chancery court of the county in which the land, or any part thereof, is located shall have the authority to appoint the chancery clerk as receiver of any mineral interest claimed or owned by any person, or persons, whose whereabouts or identity is unknown, if the court is satisfied after hearing and proof that the said person, or persons, could not be found after diligent search and inquiry and that petitioners will suffer loss, damage or injury unless such receiver is appointed.
(2) Such receiver shall have power and authority, under court order, to execute and deliver to a lessee, determined by the court, a mineral lease on any such outstanding mineral interest, upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the court; provided, however, that the court affirmatively find that the lease taken as a whole shall be at least as favorable to the absent person as other leases in the same tract of land and shall be in the best interest of all parties. It shall be conclusively presumed in every court in this state that the terms and conditions of said lease are reasonable, fair and represent the fair market value of the interests leased. The moneys, if any, paid to such receiver for execution, delay rentals, royalties or any other proceeds of such lease shall be paid immediately upon accrual to the receiver and shall be impounded by said receiver for the use and benefit of such person. The receiver shall hold, preserve and invest any such money so received in the same manner as other moneys held by the chancery clerk and on order of the court shall pay any money so held, with any interest accrued less costs of the receivership, to any person holding a valid claim thereto when said claim is asserted within ten (10) years of the date of the decree establishing the receivership. The official bond of the chancery clerk shall cover any money paid him as such receiver and the chancellor may prescribe such additional bond as he may think proper.
(3) No receiver shall be appointed under the provisions of this section unless all interested parties who are not parties to the petition shall be made defendants and all such defendants shall have been served with process of the court provided by law for cases in chancery court. The summons by publication shall be substantially in the following form:
"THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
(inserting names of defendants)
You are summoned to appear before the Chancery Court of the County of
in said state, on the Monday of , A.D. , to defend the suit of
(et al.) praying the appointment of a receiver of an undivided mineral
interest claimed to be owned by you in and under (here describe the land)
wherein you are a defendant. This the day of , A.D.
(4) The costs of the action for appointment of the receiver shall be taxed against the petitioners if they fail to prove their case.
(5) The receivership, once established, shall continue, unless dissolved by the court for good cause, for a period of at least ten (10) years.
(6) This section shall not alter or change any laws now in effect relating to suits for the removal of clouds upon title or the appointment of receivers under any other law, but is cumulative thereof.
(7) The term "tract of land" as used herein shall not be limited to property wherein petitioner owns an undivided interest; but may include any geographic boundary upon which mineral exploration and/or production may be conducted even though the tract may include property in which petitioner has no property interest or any other geographic boundary the court, in its discretion, may deem appropriate. SOURCES: Codes, 1942, § 1324.5; Laws, 1950, ch. 340, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1980, ch. 412, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1980.