How to buy your mineral rights

This question has come up a few times lately and both Rochester and Rochester Hills have recently allowed gas companies to come in a mine for minerals below surface. One landowner we heard about had purchased his mineral rights ahead of time and is now receiving a check for around $500 per month from the gas company.
The Oakland Press wrote this on Sept. 3, 2013
“Traverse City-based Jordan Development Company, a medium-size oil exploration company which operates more than 450 oil and gas wells across the state, has been going door-to-door seeking mineral rights agreements in Rochester Hills subdivisions since late last year.

The oil company has leased more than 30,000 acres in Oakland County.

As in Waterford Township, the company entered into a lease agreement for mineral rights on three pieces of Rochester Hills-owned land.

All of the subdivisions south of Tienken Road and west of Adams Road have been offered leases by Jordan, according to Ed Anzek, Rochester Hills’ director of Planning and Economic Development.

Many residents have signed leases, he added, but Jordan needs a minimum of 51 percent of land in a targeted subdivision before moving forward with drilling.

“If the project proceeds, the property owners who did not sign leases will be put in a mandatory pool which will allow them to receive at least a portion of royalty,” Anzek said.”

So we looked up on and found this:
If you want to know how to find out who owns the mineral rights under your land, or find out if you do, then the first stop in your quest should probably be the county clerk’s office (free) and/or a private abstract office (not free) in the county where your land is located. Both are usually located in or near the county courthouse, and are where you will find all the filed land records having to do with your property.

From the land records you can construct a “chain of title.” A chain of title is simply a sequential record of documents showing how the mineral rights have changed hands through the years.

Your chain of title will be created using conveyances listed in index books at the courthouse or abstract office. You will need to know the legal description of the property in order to know which tract index book to look in; or you can search by name using the grantor/grantee index book if you have some names to work with but aren’t sure of the legal description. Either index book will tell you where to find the actual conveyances that pertain to your land.

You should include in your chain of title all conveyances affecting the tract you are researching, and will also want to look for and examine any affidavits, liens, foreclosures, tax sales, divorce settlements, probate files, mortgages etc. that might affect the property as many of these are “conveyances” as well. Some of these documents may only be filed in the court clerk’s records (a/k/a district clerk) rather than in the county clerk’s records, so be aware of that. If you come to a “dead end” or have a “gap” in your title that you can’t account for, you might want to check for probates or divorce decrees in the court clerk’s office. further explains:
Mineral rights not only refer to the ownership of minerals, but also valuable rocks, gas or oil found below the ground on a piece of property. These rights greatly differ from surface rights, which is ownership of anything above ground. If a landowner owns both, it is possible to buy mineral rights without buying the land. Although leasing mineral rights for a specific length of time is more common, buying mineral rights gives you permanent ownership. Once you buy mineral rights, you may decide to mine the property yourself, hire a company to perform mining or try to resell the rights for a profit. This article will help you navigate through the complex process of buying mineral rights.


About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at


  1. I think it’s important to get an expert on your side when you’re considering buying, or selling, your mineral rights. The process can be a bit tricky, and each state has its own laws and regulations. Even if it’s just for a consultation, partnering with a mineral rights company can help you to make the right decisions where it counts.

  2. It’s truly a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful
    information with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

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