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Natural Resource Partners L.P. Files $500 Million Universal Shelf Registration Statement

12/23/2003

HOUSTON, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Natural Resource Partners L.P. (NYSE: NRP) today announced that it and its operating subsidiaries, NRP (Operating) LLC, WPP LLC, ACIN LLC and WBRD LLC, jointly filed a $500 million "universal shelf" registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the proposed sale of debt and equity securities. Securities issued under this shelf may be in the form of common units representing limited partner interests in Natural Resource Partners L.P. or debt securities of NRP or any of its operating subsidiaries. The registration statement also covers, for possible future sales, up to 673,715 common units held by Great Northern Properties Limited Partnership (GNPLP). GNPLP acquired the common units as consideration for its contribution to NRP of properties and debt in connection with the initial public offering of NRP.

Once the shelf registration is declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the securities may be offered from time to time directly or through underwriters at amounts, prices, interest rates and other terms to be determined at the time of any offering. At the time of any offering, NRP will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of each offering of common units or debt securities.

The net proceeds from the sale of securities from this shelf would be used for future acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, including the retirement of existing debt. NRP will not receive any proceeds from the sale of common units by GNPLP.

The registration statement, filed on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has not yet been declared effective. Securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy such securities be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. Any offerings of securities covered by the registration statement will be made only by means of a written prospectus and prospectus supplements. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

Natural Resource Partners L.P. is headquartered in Houston, TX, with its operations headquarters in Huntington, WV. NRP is a master limited partnership that is principally engaged in the business of owning and managing coal properties in the three major coal producing regions of the United States: Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Powder River Basin.

For additional information, please contact Kathy Hager at 713-751-7555 or khager@nrplp.com . Further information about NRP is available on the partnership's website at http://www.nrplp.com .

This press release may include "forward-looking statements" as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the partnership expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain assumptions made by the partnership based on its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the partnership. These risks include, but are not limited to, decreases in demand for coal; changes in operating conditions and costs; production cuts by our lessees; commodity prices; unanticipated geologic problems; changes in the legislative or regulatory environment and other factors detailed in Natural Resource Partners' Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Natural Resource Partners L.P. has no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Natural Resource Partners L.P. -0- 12/23/2003 /CONTACT: Kathy Hager of Natural Resource Partners L.P., +1-713-751-7555, or khager@nrplp.com / /Web site: http://www.nrplp.com / (NRP)

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