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Know about the History of Mineral Rights in Texas and California

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The minerals beneath the surface of the property belongs to the land owner in all the states of USA. If the land owner owns the land in fee simple estate it means that along with the surface rights, the owner is also entitled to the sub surface rights and the air above the surface. There is a vast history about the minerals and its rights in the states of United States. To know about it, it is obvious to start with Texas.

Texas has immense mineral wealth when compared to all other states in US. When Texas was under the control of Spanish and Mexicans, the subsurface rights in Texas belonged to its land owners. But in 1837, a law was passed saying that no lands granted by the government shall be located on salt springs, gold or silver mines or any other minerals. After few years, in 1862 a dispute arose over the salt on which the government came to conclusion saying that the surface can be sold and the mineral rights should be kept with the owner.

Coming to the state of California, the U.S. Congress passed a California Land Act of 1851 which set up a commission to make decisions on private land claims. All the decisions made by the commission will be governed by the laws, usages, and customs of the government from which the claims derived. After so many years of court proceedings and introducing many acts the court finally came up saying that both the surface rights and sub surface rights belong to the owner of the land.

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Filed under Business
Dec 2, 2011