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What are mineral rights?

Ownership of mineral rights (more accurately "mineral interests") is an interest in real property. It is the right of the owner to exploit, mine, and/or produce any or all of the minerals lying below the surface of the property.  These are often leased from the mineral owner by an oil or gas company to potentially drill for oil or gas.  If oil or gas is found, the payment the mineral owner receives is a “royalty.”