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Real property

mineral deed

A mineral deed transfers all ownership rights in the assets under the surface of a tract of land—including oil, gas, coal, hydrocarbons, metals, and minerals—from the grantor (seller) to the grantee (buyer). The transfer also includes all rights to receive royalties, profits, or payments related to the assets under the surface of the land.

In Texas, a mineral deed is a legal document that conveys ownership rights in the minerals (such as oil, gas, coal, hydrocarbons, metals, and other substances) located beneath the surface of a piece of land from the grantor to the grantee. This type of deed is distinct from a surface deed, which transfers rights to the land itself. The mineral deed typically includes the transfer of rights to explore, drill, and extract the minerals, as well as the right to receive any royalties, bonuses, or other payments that arise from the production and sale of these minerals. It's important to note that in Texas, mineral rights can be severed from surface rights, meaning that ownership of the minerals can be separate from ownership of the land above. The mineral deed must be in writing, signed by the grantor, and should be filed and recorded in the county where the property is located to provide notice to third parties and protect the grantee's interests.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Federal Statutes & Rules

Mineral Leasing Act of 1920
This act governs the leasing of public lands for the development of mineral resources, which is relevant to the transfer of mineral rights.

The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. § 181 et seq.) establishes the authority and guidelines for leasing public lands for mining operations, including oil, gas, coal, and other non-energy leasable minerals. It requires that the extraction of these minerals from public lands be done through a competitive bidding process and that the lessee pays royalties to the federal government. The act also specifies the terms and conditions for the leases, the rights and responsibilities of the lessee, and the process for transferring leases. However, this act does not typically apply to private mineral deeds between individuals, which are governed by state law.

General Mining Act of 1872
This act is one of the main federal statutes that govern mining for minerals such as gold, silver, and copper on federal public lands.

The General Mining Act of 1872 (30 U.S.C. § 22-54) allows U.S. citizens to prospect for minerals on federal public lands and to stake a claim if they discover a valuable mineral deposit. If the prospector meets the statutory requirements, they may obtain a patent (full ownership) of the land or continue to mine it while paying an annual fee. The act has been criticized for not requiring environmental protections or royalties for extraction of minerals. It is important to note that this act applies to public lands and not typically to private transactions involving mineral deeds.

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
This act regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States, which can be relevant to the rights and responsibilities associated with a mineral deed for coal.

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA; 30 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq.) establishes a program for regulating surface coal mining and reclamation activities. It sets forth minimum standards for land restoration after mining operations are completed and requires mine operators to obtain permits and post bonds to ensure that the land will be restored. While SMCRA primarily addresses environmental aspects of coal mining, it also has implications for the rights conveyed in a mineral deed, as the grantee must comply with all federal, state, and local regulations, including environmental standards and reclamation requirements.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976
This act governs the way in which the public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management are managed, including the management of mineral resources.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA; 43 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1787) directs the Secretary of the Interior to manage public land resources for various uses, including mineral development, while protecting the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values. FLPMA does not directly affect private mineral deeds but establishes the framework for federal land use planning that can indirectly impact mineral rights and development on adjacent private lands.