Leasing or buying mineral rights can create a wealth of opportunities for individuals or businesses, but the rules and laws surrounding mineral rights can be tricky. Here are 3 facts to know about leasing or buying mineral rights:
1. Laws Vary from Mineral to Mineral
While the Bureau of Land Management provides information on Federal Laws regarding the acquisition of high-value minerals and considerations for transfer, state laws for minerals can vary greatly. Laws regarding ownership of rights, transferring rights to interested parties, and rights regarding specific minerals are not uniform. Low value minerals, such as gravel and dirt, are public access and of low value. Liquid minerals(oil, gas) and solid leasables(sodium, potassium) each have their own particular permits and processes to follow. Being aware of your state laws regarding mineral rights is paramount when considering purchase or lease.
2. The Purpose of Purchase or Lease Matters
Defining the purpose of the mineral rights purchase or lease is paramount in securing either, and may include additional considerations. Leasing minerals with the intent to produce something, for example, would lead to a portion of the profits to return to the owner as a royalty. Specific wording may also prohibit the use of certain deposits, or limit the amount of minerals that may be collected. Mineral rights could also have a limited time for collection depending on the reasons for lease.
3. Some Minerals Are Easier to Lease/Purchase Than Others
Solid leasables and mineral materials (low value minerals such as dirt, gravel) are easier to acquire rights to than other more valuable minerals. Mineral materials can be acquired by the public at market value, or for free by the city and certain nonprofits. Solid leasables are managed privately, and through the US Bureau of Land Management. They have a greater value than simple construction materials. Oil and gas have very specific information regarding the process of purchase or lease. This can vary state to state, though one such example of regulations are those in the Ohio DNR. There are several levels of information to consider on leasing for the the rights owner and the lessee including the length of the lease, the terms, development of the infrastructure and so on. Always be aware of the varying levels of difficulty in acquiring mineral rights.
It’s also highly recommended that individuals keen on acquiring mineral rights should seek the assistance of an attorney. The specific nature of mineral contracts can be difficult to follow, and having a lawyer to protect them while also developing an agreeable deal can be. There are many more considerations for acquiring mineral rights, but these facts should be a solid first step in overcoming complications.