What does it mean when you own mineral rights?

It is important to know what’s happening beneath your property if you are moving to an area that has nearby mining operations. Even if you don’t want to be an oil prospector, knowing what rights you have on a property can save you a lot of trouble. You might be able to own the rights to a literal goldmine.

Continue reading to find out what mineral rights are, and what’s included.

What are Mineral Rights?

Mineral rights are rights of ownership that give the owner the right and privilege to extract minerals from beneath a property. These rights can be applied to both liquid and solid minerals such as oil and gold. Mineral rights may be distinct from surface rights, and not all property owners have them.

Mineral rights can exist independently from surface-level ownership. It is important to understand what your rights are before you purchase real estate. Owners can sell their Mineral Rights, or they can use the property as a means of acquiring ownership.

What minerals are included?

Although you might think of minerals, mineral rights also cover liquids and gases. These can be changed based on taxation and laws. Here is a list of the most common items:


Natural gas

Precious metals (Gold and silver, mercury, etc.


Non-precious and semi-precious metallics (Aluminum or copper, etc.

Rare earth elements

What minerals are not included?

Mineral rights don’t cover many minerals. These are the most common minerals that are not included in mineral rights.




Subsurface water

What is the working principle of mineral rights?

Mineral rights owners have two options: they can either explore and extract the mineral-rich area or sell the rights to private companies and organizations that want to explore and exploit it. Rights owners can receive payment in the form of royalties, a lease, or shut-in payments when a well is not used.

These sales agreements usually contain certain provisions. These provisions are similar to the home sales contingencies. These provisions are common:

Conveyance: A description of the price, specific minerals and net profit interests, as well as royalties, that are generated from the property.

Diligence is a provision that prevents the seller selling rights to another person while the buyer holds the title. The sale price may be adjusted at any time if necessary. If there are any problems with the title, rights, or the seller’s agreement to sell, the buyer can rescind the sale.

Closing: This section outlines details such as the type of closing, cost, and tax.

What Mineral Rights are Held

Mineral rights can be held in a variety of ways. An estate is the combination of mineral rights and surface rights. These estates can be held in different locations.

These are the types:

Unified Estate: All mineral and surface rights are linked together.

Severed estate: Mineral and surface rights ownership can be separated.

Fractional Estate: A portion of mineral rights is owned by one estate.

Extra Circumstances

Like many laws related to property and rights, the facts surrounding who is entitled to what may vary. Mineral rights are handled differently in different countries. Different states in the U.S. have different policies about mineral rights.

Depending on where you live, the taxation of these rights, their ownership and how much they are paid can vary. These rights may be regulated by some states, particularly when it comes to oil or gas.

Surface Rights Vs. Mineral Rights

These are the rights you have on the property’s surface. These rights include the land, buildings, and landscaping. Mineral rights cover specific resources below the surface.

It is common for mineral rights and surface rights to be separated in areas that are designated for mining. It is possible to own both the mineral rights and the surface rights. This is known as a “severed estate”.

How to Search For Mineral Rights Records

You can find information about mineral rights records in many places. To reduce the possibility of losing mineral rights ownership, it is a good idea to review your land title records if you are the owner. It’s possible that the title search was done by a title company when you purchased the property. Another good place to start is to evaluate those records and any title insurance that you purchased.

Most Common Questions Concerning Mineral Rights

These rights are then transferred to the property? Are they distinct? These are some frequently asked questions about mineral rights.

Are Mineral Rights Convertible to Property?

The type of estate will determine whether mineral rights are transferred with the property. Surface rights and mineral rights do not transfer together if it is a separated estate. If it is a unified estate, however, the land as well as the mineral rights may be transferred with the property.

Are Mineral Rights Expiring?

Mineral rights can expire. There is no single answer as to when or how long they will last. Each agreement has a different term length. You can choose the term length if you are selling mineral rights. You may have an expiration date that is different if someone owns mineral rights on the property.

What if I don’t own the mineral rights to a property?

You can purchase the mineral rights to a property that you don’t already own. A severed estate is where the property surface rights are owned by someone else, while the mineral rights are separate. The popularity of mineral rights investing has increased with the rising price of oil and minerals. However, it is not possible to invest in property rights.

For information on how to obtain these rights, visit the county courthouse. You will usually find a deed record for mineral rights. You can then contact the right owners. You can also search the internet for rights for sale to buy mineral rights.

What are the Most Prevalent Minerals for Mining?

Oil and gas are the most popular minerals to be mined in the United States. Large oil and gas reserves are found in states like Texas, North Dakota and Alaska.

Coal is another important mineral. Large coal mining operations are found in states like Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Lithium is a mineral that is in high demand. Electronics batteries are a major use of lithium. There aren’t many lithium mining operations in America.

How to determine if your property contains valuable minerals

You may not be alone if you believe there are valuable minerals on your land. Many areas that have mineral deposits have designated mining areas. Companies may have hired geologists to assess if an area is suitable for mining.

To determine the value of your land, you can hire a land surveyor or geologist. To determine if mineral rights are available for your property, you can look at mineral rights lists.


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