Understanding Mineral Rights for Land Parcels

Mineral rights are property rights that give the owner the right to exploit the minerals that lie beneath a property. This includes solid and liquid minerals, such as gold and oil. Mineral rights may be separate from surface rights and are not always owned by the same person. The rights of the owner of a mineral often include the right to use the Earth's surface to access and extract the minerals they own.

This could mean that the owner of the mineral has the right to drill an oil or natural gas well, or to excavate a mine on their property. Usually, the owner of the ore is also allowed to build roads or other necessary improvements to facilitate the extraction of the ore. Ownership of rights to minerals, including oil and gas, contained in an area of land is also known as a “mineral interest” or “mining farm”. A mining right is a real estate right and can be transferred regardless of the land on the surface.

Mining rights generally include the right to sell all or part of the stake, the right to enter the land to produce and carry out production activities, the right to lease the mining rights to third parties, and the right to create fractional shares in the mining stake. In Florida, these rights can be divided or separated from surface property and bought, sold, or leased on their own. The owner can also choose to sell the mining rights to several buyers, each of whom then holds the rights to a particular piece of land. Laws that regulate mining and mineral rights generally prohibit the owner of the mineral from damaging or interfering with the use of any housing or other land improvements when mining minerals.

In almost every home to which a company sold mining rights, records show that shortly after the sale of the property, they would transfer those rights to another entity. In 1907, Texas implemented laws that stated that landlords could sell mining rights along with property. It's not clear if other homebuilders in the region have cut mining rights to their properties. In both counties, the property appraiser's office does not consider mining rights when assessing the value of a home.

In colonial times (17th century), British Crown did not reserve ownership of mining rights for any American land, and ownership was always under English common law. Separate mining rights will appear in a title search, but this simply indicates that those rights have been separated from a property in the past and does not catalog who is currently owning them. In 1912, Texas Supreme Court retroactively applied this law, returning mining rights to all property owners, including those held by government. The first paragraph of first page of agreement for sale of property usually contains text stating that it does not include mining rights and that “the buyer acknowledges that seller has previously transferred (or will transfer before closing) to DRH Energy, Inc.

Once these rights have been sold, original owner retains only surface rights while second party can exploit underground resources however they want. If you are looking for a 159-acre land grant, you can find out if mineral rights are going to trust account or entities by looking at title search. It is important to note that companies have built tens of thousands of homes across state and separating mineral rights from properties has attracted attention of attorneys general in several states.