When you own land and you find minerals or other naturally occurring substances of value, you may be curious about your options when it comes to mining these substances and selling them. While you may assume that anything you find on your land is your property, this may not actually be the case.
In the state of Georgia, there is a clear legal difference between rights to the surface of a piece of land and the rights to the minerals below the surface of the land. This surprisingly means that even if you are the surface owner of a piece of land, another entity may, in fact, have the right to the minerals underneath your piece of land.
Understanding what mineral rights are
It is possible for a person to have mineral rights without having the surface rights to a piece of land; however, sometimes they are sold together. This is why it is very important to conduct thorough research before purchasing a piece of land, especially if you have reason to believe that valuable minerals lie under the surface.
Can I lease mineral rights to another party?
If you have established that you are not the owner of mineral rights on your land, you may want to consider leasing these rights from the person or entity who owns them. Conversely, you may be able to lease out your mineral rights to a third party if you want the land to be excavated.
If you are confused about the ways in which your piece of land can be used for mining purposes, an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance.