Mineral rights properties have been a hot topic nowadays. It has been an interesting investment for real estate investors since last year but it has only begun to boom in the real estate market now. Let’s look more closely at the nature of mineral rights and mineral lease transactions.
Purchasing mineral rights isn’t as simple as buying a house or a car. When buying mineral rights, the energy/mining company has to get a mining permit and organize everyone’s schedule to commence operation on the property.
This is if the buyer wants to remove and make use of the minerals, of course. There are buyers who just prefer to invest in the property. The investment would include the plan to sell that property to energy/mining companies themselves.
Mineral Rights and Surface Rights
Mineral rights are different from surface rights. Surface rights only focus on the properties (buildings, landmarks, etc.) that is at the surface of the property. Mineral rights, on the other hand, refer to the energy or minerals that are present under the property. This would explain why we can have a surface rights owner and a different mineral rights owner.
Naturally, we can expect that there would be disagreements between the mineral rights owner and the surface rights owner. These would most often come out during the extraction of the minerals, and most of the time it is the surface rights owner who gets inconvenienced. Disagreements like these can be cleared up by looking back to the mineral rights agreement, or the mineral lease agreement. When it is written that the mineral rights owner has the right to operate mineral extraction any time he/she wants, then there is nothing that the surface rights owner can do. This is the reason why written agreements and contracts should be kept and valued. Legal assistance is always a big help, especially when it comes to mineral rights leasing.
Surface rights owners, and surface rights buyers, should also take a look at the mineral rights agreement. You may not be directly involved in the transaction of the mineral rights of your property. But you are still a part of that property and there may be certain things you need to prepare yourself for (like the extraction of the minerals at an inconvenient time).
Seek legal assistance when you are going to buy a property that may have mineral rights attached to it. Copies of mineral rights transactions are normally kept at a government office if you cannot find the original ones. Buyers should always ask what rights are included in the sale of a property. You can ask your lawyer to research on the property you want to buy and the extent of the ownership being offered to you. A lawyer’s assistance is important especially if you’re dealing with a property that has historic mineral activity and potential mining activity.
State and Local Laws
Most states have laws and regulations pertaining to mineral rights ownership, transactions, and extraction. There are laws and regulations that emphasizes the limitations of a mining company’s actions during extraction, for example. These laws are put down to help protect the environment and the parties involved. Both the mineral rights owner and the surface rights owner should be aware of these laws to avoid future problems and disagreements. To make matter clearer for both parties, lawyers and legal assistance should be present.
Obviously, mineral rights and mineral rights transactions are a very complex situation. They require a lot of research, a lot of counsel, and a lot of effort, time, and money. The most important thing to remember is to always ask about the rights and seek legal assistance.