(1) Any person qualified under the constitution and laws of the state of Montana may lease state lands for coal purposes provided that:
(a) all corporations not incorporated in Montana must obtain a certificate of authority to transact business in this state from the Secretary of State;
(b) no officer or employee of any agency of the executive department of state government who is required to inspect or examine field information in regard to prospecting for coal or the mining thereof, may take or hold such lease;
(c) the applicant, if a natural person, has reached the age of 18 years; and
(d) no citizen of a foreign country is eligible to obtain and hold a state coal lease unless the citizen's country provides for similar or like privileges to citizens of the United States. Likewise, no partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity controlled by interests foreign to the United States is eligible to obtain and hold a state coal lease unless the entity's country provides for similar or like privileges to citizens of the United States.
(2) Any person qualified to hold a coal lease on state lands may acquire, receive and hold more than one lease.