How to Sell Mineral Rights

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Think you've got gold in them thar hills? Or oil, gas, coal, copper or other minerals? Sell the mineral rights while you hang on to the property. Depending on the particulars, mineral rights may produce a steady stream of income.

Have your property surveyed for mineral content. Look under Natural Resources in the U.S. Government Offices section of your phone book for a geologic survey.

Separate the various types of minerals evident on your property. Instead of leasing the rights to all minerals to one company, specify which minerals they can claim. Have an experienced attorney help you. Also determine the length of the lease--two years, three years, five years.

Ask the local Environmental Protection Agency office about the need for an environmental impact report before proceeding with the lease of the property. A damaging report might force cancellation of the lease.

Ask about a signing bonus. Weigh the size of the bonus against proposed royalty payments. Getting money up front is an advantage if no minerals are found; a higher royalty rate is best when minerals are actually located.

Become acquainted with other ways to handle mineral rights. For example, you can sell the property but retain the mineral rights for yourself.

Tips & Warnings

  • When transferred, mineral rights generally include everything underground, starting at a certain depth and proceeding downward.

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