Legal Location in the Context of Mineral Rights


If you are buying property, then your deed will likely list your new asset’s legal location. The term “legal location” is not always useable in property leases and sales. Still, it is entirely necessary if you are entering into a mineral rights agreement.

In this article, we will define the term “legal location” in the context of mineral rights. After that, we will be detailing the components that make up a mineral property’s legal description.

What is a legal location?

What is does it mean in the land law of the United States? The legal location of a property means the exact boundaries of the purchasable asset. This definition is sufficient for surface properties. Still, it is not enough to define the legal location of a subterranean asset.

What is the legal location of a mining claim?

In mining law, legal location is much more than a property’s land area. Mineral rights extend into the subsurface of the earth. Additionally, the natural resource reserves generally extend beyond the boundaries of the property above. With all of this in mind, the legal location of a mining claim must take into consideration a lot. It includes all of the geographical, historical, and legal elements of a property.

Legal Description of the Property

The legal description of a property is exactly how the legal location of a mineral claim means on a property deed. The legal location of a mineral rights property may be conveyable with a variety of details. This depends on the location of the property specifically from which state. Legal descriptions are generally a requirement to contain full descriptions of a few key points. Examples are in heavy mineral-producing states like Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota,

Below, we detail some of the most common elements of the legal description of a mineral rights claim. Failure to fully understand the legal location of an asset may be critical in determining whether or not a purchased mineral property is as advertised.

Latitude and Longitude

First and foremost, the best way to define the location of a property anywhere in the world is the latitude and longitude. Not only is this helpful in crowded city streets, but it is also equally as important when considering oil reserves loathed in remote, desolate areas of the United States.

Property Boundaries

Once you know your property’s longitude and latitude, what’s next? It will then be very easy to identify it. Usually with the registration location of the proper parcel of land. This may be most easily located by looking up the land’s parcel tax ID or parcel number. This is the most important registration number to legally bind you to your new property.

If you cannot find the parcel number on your property deed, check your property tax bill if you have owned your land long enough to have received one of them. If it is a new property in question, be sure to verify with your local land office.

County & Abstract Number

A property’s ID number is first defined by its abstract number, which is unique in each of a state’s counties. The abstract number is assigned by the state’s land office and helps quickly identify property locations.

Survey Name

The survey name of a mineral rights property’s legal location refers to either the location’s block section or county. Surveys are generally named for the organizations that conduct the first full measurement of the land. Independent surveys may also be referenced in the property’s survey name.

Block Section, Name, and Number

The block section of a legal location is a smaller division within land surveys to help define each boundary. Blocks are sectioned into distinct names and numbers, some of which are highly specific decimal designations. In some states, the block number and the survey number are the same figures.

Alternate Name

As mineral rights can change hands between individual owners and large corporate entities the names are occasionally changed through history. If a parcel of land has had its legal name changed, then past names may be listed on property deeds as “alternates.” These may be required in some states to protest new property owners from misleading parcel identification.

How to Find A Property’s Legal Location

The legal location of a mineral rights property should be included in all negotiations, contracts, and deeds. Within each state, local land offices can be contacted for any questions about a mineral rights survey, block, or ID number. In most cases, it is very easy to find your property’s location if you know its county, township, and approximate location.

If you have further questions, feel free to reach out here.

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