What is a Mineral Lease?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Mineral leases are agreements between property owners and others that provide authorization to look for and remove minerals from specified sections of land. The terms of the lease may grant the right to explore and harvest minerals for an indefinite period of time, or grant the privilege for a time frame that carries specific starting and ending dates. Payments are rendered to the owner of the property in accordance with the terms and conditions that are included in the mineral lease.

Like any type of lease agreement, a mineral lease establishes the parameters of the business relationship that will exist between the property owner and the individual or company that wishes to locate and extract minerals. This includes defining the right of access to the property for the duration of the contract, as well as how payments are tendered, based on what minerals are found and mined from the property. Often, the terms of payment will also include a schedule that makes it possible for the property owner to know when to anticipate a payment, once minerals have been found and extracted from the land.


Along with addressing such issues as payment and access, a mineral lease will sometimes address the issue of how the land is to be left after the mining operation is completed. For example, the lease may call for the extractor to refill any holes dug as part of the exploration and extraction, apply fresh sod to those areas, and possibly restore any flora or fauna that was moved as part of the excavation effort. This helps to ensure that the property is usable by the property owner once the agreement is completed and no more exploration or excavation is scheduled to take place.

As with any type of legal agreement between two parties, it is important that both parties review the terms and conditions of the mineral lease in great detail. Each party should consult legal counsel as to the terms of the agreement, making sure that there is no misunderstanding about what any provision of the contract means, or what responsibilities each party has to the other. This process may also uncover some key concern of one party or the other, and allow that concern to be addressed in a timely manner. Thus, it is possible to amend the text of the mineral lease before it is executed, review it for any other possible issues that may exist, and then sign the document once both parties are satisfied with the provisions contained within the text.



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