Buying land in Colorado is a dream come true for most, but it comes with some fine print. Similar to the water rights, the mineral rights in Colorado are complex. Wrapping your brain around the nuances of mineral rights may have your head spinning. Nevertheless, the experts of Eagle Land Brokerage are ready to guide you through the details of your Western Colorado ranch.

Note: This article is intended for general education and not legal advice. 

History of Mineral Rights

The history of our Centennial State’s mineral rights date back to the late 1800’s. During the 19th century, when land was originally deeded to individuals, the mineral estate was naturally tied to the land. If the mineral rights have not been severed through previous transactions, they still remain with the land.

Mineral Rights 101

Let’s face it, mineral rights are not the first thing you think about when buying land. The only time it may even concern you, is if/when you receive a letter from an oil company proposing to lease your mineral rights. Without a doubt, both mineral rights and surface rights are intricate and complicated.

For this reason, Eagle Land Brokerage has basic terms for you review prior to buying Rocky Mountain gem.

Mineral Rights

Deposits below the surfaces are called minerals. These include oil, natural gas, coal, clay, silver, gold, copper, salt, sand, and gravel.

As a rule, mineral rights below the surface can be sold or leased. These rights encompass an interest in minerals, a right to enter upon the land, a right to extract the minerals, or even a right to receive a royalty from the extraction of the resources. Furthermore, mineral rights may include all, or only some, of the minerals.

Surface rights

In Colorado, there is a difference between ownership of the surface rights and the ownership of mineral rights. For example, you could own the surface rights to a ranch that also has a residence, but someone else could own the minerals beneath the surface.

Severance of Mineral Interests

If you are the owner of your Western Colorado ranch, then you have the option to either separate or sever the ownership of the land. For instance, the severance of mineral interests allows one person to own the surface rights and the other to own the minerals below. Ultimately, this creates a “split” or “severed” property. This status requires a title for each property.

Mineral Rights Lessee

A person who has entered into a contract with the mineral rights owner to explore for, develop, and produce the leased minerals.

Who Owns My Rights?

Eagle Land are not legal advisors, yet we can help determine the mineral rights to any of our majestic mountain properties. Typically, at the time of closing, we can discuss the title information and the ownership of mineral rights.

In contrast, if you already own your property, how do you determine the mineral rights ownership?

A great place to begin is contacting your local Recording Department in the Clerk & Recorder’s Office. Here you can find archived copies of property deeds, and you can research the mineral rights ownership to your land. The deed should specify the type of ownership at the time of the sale or transfer of ownership.

Scratching the Surface

To be perfectly honest, we’re just scratching the surface of the nuances of mineral rights and surface rights. For example, there are other methods besides ownership, such as leasing mineral rights to companies with a mineral interest. Eagle Land Brokerage may be able to answer specific questions regarding the ranches we list; however, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel if you are either interested in selling or leasing your mineral rights.

Questions about mineral rights? Call us today!