Each applicant for an exploration permit shall file with the Department following approval of his application and shall thereafter maintain in force a bond or other security in favor of the State of North Carolina. The bond or other security shall be acceptable to the Department and shall be in an amount determined by the Department based upon a schedule established by the Commission. That schedule shall provide for bond or other security at a level that will allow the Department, through whatever reasonable means it chooses, to perform the abandonment and other work required by this Article. The bond or other security shall be continuous in nature and shall remain in force until cancelled by the guarantor. Cancellation shall be effectuated upon written notice thereof by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Department and to the permit holder, and shall be effective no sooner than 60 days following receipt by the Department and the operator.
The bond or other security shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements set forth in this Article and of the rules adopted pursuant to it. Liability under the bond or other security shall remain in effect until completion of abandonment or until substitution of a good and sufficient bond or other security acceptable to the Department. In no event shall the liability of the surety exceed the amount of the bond or other security required by this section.
If notice of impending cancellation is issued by the surety, or if for any reason, the bond or other security provided is suspended or revoked or ceases to be effective, the permit holder shall, within 30 days of receipt of notice thereof, substitute a good and sufficient bond or other security acceptable to the Department. Upon failure of the permit holder to make the required substitution, his permit shall automatically become void and of no effect. Any continuation of exploration after the permit becomes void and ineffective shall make him subject to all sanctions and remedies afforded by this Article. (1983, c. 279, s. 1.)