Mineral Remoteness Reports for Conservation Easements . Presented by Gretchen L. Hurley, P.G. Hurley Geological Consulting University of Wyoming College of Law Conservation Easement Conference Laramie, Wyoming June 2, 2011.
Gretchen L. Hurley, P.G.
Hurley Geological Consulting
University of Wyoming
College of Law
June 2, 2011
A Minerals Assessment Report (“Remoteness Letter”) is prepared by the Geologist who:
When they own (or buy) land, a lot of folks think they own (or will own) this:
the Surface Estate only:
Includes all surface uses of the land such as roads, grazing, recreation, rights-of-way, stream and river channels, wetlands, etc.
and not the Mineral Estate:
Which includes ownership of and rights to explore for and/or remove mineral resources such as coal, oil and gas, hard rock minerals, other solid minerals, or sand and gravel
Federal acts affecting (or not affecting) mineral reservations to the US at the time of patent:
provides that patents issued are subject to and contain reservations of all minerals to the US together with the right to prospect for and remove the same
The Geologist analyses stratigraphy and geologic structures present on the property to determine potential for multiple categories of minerals, and their development:
1. Locatable Minerals (Mining Law of 1872) “…whatever is recognized as a mineral by the standard authorities, whether metallic or other substance, when found in public lands in quantity and quality sufficient to render the lands valuable on account thereof. ”
Mining claims can be “located” on private land with a federal mineral estate if a locatable mineral discovery has been made.
carbonates, borates, silicates or
nitrates of potassium and sodium
mineral producer paid to the U.S.
Wyoming is one of 17 “minority” states that does not recognize common variety materials such as sand & gravel, sandstone, limestone, dolomite, granite, gneiss, or scoria as “minerals” that can be reserved in a deed for private or state lands.
Private surface/ Federal Minerals
SENW Sec. 10 T.52N., R.104W.:
2)“All minerals” were reserved to the United States at time of patenting, under the Stock Raising Homestead Act (1916)
3) Oil & gas estate is leased to Wyoming Oil Co. by the U.S. (Bureau of Land Management)
4) Mr. Lander locates two 20-acre mining claims on the locatable minerals beneath the surface estate, for both placer gold and uranium, after notifying Mr. and Mrs. Cody.