Understanding the Mineral Deed

Understanding the Mineral Deed

It is all in the deed, the mineral rights deed. All the information you need regarding your mineral ownership.

What is a Mineral Rights Deed?

A mineral deed form is a legal document, regarding the ownership of the minerals below the surface of the earth. It is important to understand that surface rights and mineral rights, on the same piece of land, can be owned by different parties. A mineral rights deed does not discuss title to surface land or structures on the land, unless it is actually a warranty or quitclaim deed.

The mineral rights deed will, however, explain provisions allowing the mineral owner reasonable access to the surface land in order to develop the minerals. Mineral owners have legal rights to extract and sell their minerals, with or without the use of third-party companies. They receive a percentage of the income generated from the sale of those minerals, in peroration to their ownership. If a lease expires the ownership remains with the mineral owner.

Mineral rights deeds are not the same as royalty deeds. Royalty deeds do not allow for surface access, or for the initiation of the extraction and sale of minerals. A royalty owner will only benefit economically if the mineral owner decides to produce and sell the minerals.

Reading the Deed

Reading through the legal paperwork, to determine what you actually own, can be a daunting task.  

The first step is acquiring the mineral rights deed form. If you do not have a deed, but own mineral rights, visit the Recorders office in the county where the acreage resides. This is the best place to search for the deed, or deeds.

Sample Mineral Deed


Deeds are written and arranged in a variety of different ways. Some are very specific, and others can be very vague. This presents challenges to mineral owners once they start reading the deed.

If you need assistance, check out our services for Mineral Owners!

A Deed Decoded

To explain some common verbiage found in mineral and royalty deed forms, The LandGate team created a sample deed and decoded what is written. 

The first paragraph of this mineral rights deed has all of the critical information. It answers all the “W” questions;  who the seller is, who the buyer is, what minerals are being sold, where the minerals are located and when the sale will be effective.

If you are struggling with an overly complex or overly vague deed, just focus on finding two pieces of key information 1) name of Grantor/ Seller and 2) location of the property. With these two pieces of information, an industry professional will be able to find the rest of the information in the county public records.

For those looking in Denver, for example, check out this video by the County on how to search public records online. 

Do you need a mineral deed form? Check out the featured downloads on the bottom right of this page!

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2 Replies to “Understanding the Mineral Deed”

  1. Awesome form and explanation. We’re trying to complete a Mineral Deed which should have been done on the death of my mother in law. Obviously the previous oil company didn’t insist on dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts. So we’re left cleaning it up, and had no idea what should be on a Mineral Deed. We substituted the California Notary section they require. This should clear things up so the new oil company can start sending payments to the right people. Saves us time and money trying to find an attorney who understands this.
    Thanks sooooo much!

  2. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the importance of fully reading the deed and understanding exactly what it is saying. Although this may seem like something obvious, reading legal documents when you aren’t familiar with that kind of work can be a daunting task. I would imagine that if I were handling this situation I would feel overwhelmed and I may hire an attorney to help me with this work. However daunting, this task is very important to the process and I am interested in learning more about this situation.

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