In order to find out if you own the mineral rights you need to examine your title insurance policy, or in some states your abstract of deed. This describes all the liens against the property including the tax assessor, mortgages, easements, assessments like city sewer or water, and will show the mineral rights as a separate item if you do not own them, or possibly if you do own them.
Laws vary greatly from state to state on mineral rights. In some states the mineral rights revert back to the surface owner after a period of years where the mineral owner does not develop the minerals. In other states the mineral rights can be severed from the surface rights permanently and then the owner of the mineral rights may have to be tracked down through court house records as they are often transferred.
We will go into more detail on finding ways to research your mineral ownership later in this book.
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