How to Keep Mineral Rights When Selling Land

The definition of minerals can be different in each state, according to the U.S. government. Typically, most states consider substances such as coal, natural gas and metal as minerals. If you are selling land, check with your local government to ensure compliance with the local and state transferring laws. While owners of land mineral rights can develop the mineral deposits on their own, it is more common for the owner to lease or sell his rights to a corporation that has the expertise and equipment to profit from mining.

Inspect your property deed abstract to ensure that you own the mineral rights. If you gained the property through a gift or inheritance, you could find that you do not own the mineral rights for the property. It is not unheard of for land to pass through several owners while the mineral rights stayed with one person or family.

Include a clause in the purchase agreement that specifies that you are retaining the mineral rights to the property.

Write a separate agreement between you and the purchaser stating that you are retaining the mineral rights. Include a description of the property in the agreement.

Tell the attorney who is writing the new deed to exclude the mineral rights to the property. The new deed must state that the mineral rights are not part of the property.

Inspect the new deed before you or the new property owner sign it. The recorded deed must state the mineral rights exclusion for you to retain the rights.


  • Consider having a geological survey to determine if there are any minerals on the property. You can find it easier to sell property if there are no restrictions on the sale.


  • Keeping the mineral rights can have tax consequences. Consult an accountant if you have income from the property.