Many people assume that if they own a particular piece of land or property in the state of Georgia, this means that they automatically have the right to anything that lies underneath the soil. However, this is simply not the case. In the United States, a clear distinction between mineral rights and surface rights is made.
While surface rights allow you to build and own property on the land, mineral rights give you the ability to extract and sell any asset that exists underground on the property. These assets might include oil, coal or natural gas. These “split estates” of mineral rights and surface rights originally existed to encourage people to move west.
What minerals exist under land in the state of Georgia?
Not all land is automatically rich in minerals, but valuable minerals have been found under land in the state of Georgia. These have included gold, iron, aluminum, manganese and mica.
What should you do if you believe that there are valuable minerals under your property?
You should first verify whether you have the mineral rights to the property that you have surface rights to. If you do have mineral rights, you may be able to excavate the property yourself. Alternatively, you can opt to lease the mineral rights to another party. By leasing out the rights, you give the other party the ability to profit from the assets.
If you want to know more about mineral rights and acquiring the rights if you do not have them, an experienced attorney can help you understand the law in Georgia.