Abstracts of Current Decisions on Mines and Mining: May to August, 1917 Page: 80
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DECISIONS ON MINES AND MINING.
casualties over which the lessee had no control. The minimum
royalty clause did not obligate the lessee to mine and ship any
stated quantity of coal per year, but to pay royalty on a named
quantity of coal whether mined or not unless the lessee was prevented
from so doing by strikes and other unavoidable casualties over
which he had no control. Under such circumstances a bad condi-
tion of the coal market and the inability of the lessee to sell the coal
is not an unavoidable casualty within the meaning of the lease. It
is a matter of common knowledge that the coal market may be good at
one time and bad at another, and such changes are the ordinary
incidents of the business and may be expected to occur at any time.
Bad markets are the result of economic laws, and they come and go
with such frequency that every business man must take them into
account, and unless he is prudent enough to guard against them by
contract he necessarily takes the risk. Such a lease is to be dis-
tinguished from leases that expressly provide for minimum royalties
on coal mined and sold.
Bennett v. Howard (Kentucky), 195 Southwestern 117, p. 119.
UNAVOIDABLE CASUALTIES TO REDUCE ROYALTIES.
A coal-mining lease stipulated for the payment of a minimum
royalty, but provided for the reduction of such royalty when the lessee
was compelled to close mining operations during strikes and other
unavoidable casualties over which the lessee had no control. The
use of the words "other unavoidable casualties over which the
lessee has no control" after the word "strikes" indicates that the
words "unavoidable casualties" were not used in a broader sense
than strikes but embraced only such casualties as were of a like nature
to strikes and that the casualties must be such as were due to out-
side forces or to the conduct of a third party over which the lessee
had no control. The lessee can not claim deductions for suspensions
of operations on account of the bad condition of the coal market
and his inability to sell coal, a shutdown occasioned by the installa-
tion of an electric plant, a wreck on the incline, freezing of the power-
house pipe line, delay in getting engine oil ordered in ample time but
not delivered, the breaking down of a drum shoe, the alterations of
screens, breaking down of the engine, breaking down of the hoisting
engine, as these matters were all under the control of the lessee.
The failure of a railroad company to furnish cars is an unavoidable
casualty within the meaning of the lease where it appears that the
lessee used reasonable diligence to procure the necessary cars.
Bennett v. Howard (Kentucky), 195 Southwestern 117, p. 118.
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Thompson, Joseph Wesley. Abstracts of Current Decisions on Mines and Mining: May to August, 1917, report, December 1917; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38745/m1/94/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.