Looking at land in Colorado, what is "1/2 interest" in limestone and limerock?

My wife and I have been looking for a retirement tract in Colorado and came across a 160 acre subdivision with roughly 35 acre tracts (one of which we are interested in). We love the scenery / beauty of the area and we're about to submit an offer when we found the following clause in a title search

"The party of the first part hereby expressly reserves 1/2 interest in limestone and limerock in, under, or upon the premises without, however, the right to enter upon or use the surface of said property for the development or extraction of said reserved minerals in any manner whatsoever"

The party of the first part is a cement company, and the ownership documentation goes back to the early 1900's. It also turns out this clause is on every lot in the subdivision.

Being from the east coast I don't understand the nuances of mineral rights, and my main concern in this case is my lovely retirement home becoming a rock quarry. :( Can I get some thoughts on:

  • What does 1/2 interest mean?
  • The second part almost makes it sound like they can't enter the property to extract the minerals?


I suppose it means they could tunnel under your land to extract the limestone. I think if they had to tunnel under your land to get the limestone, I think it likely they will not seek to extract it until they no longer have a surface source, simply a matter of cost. The reservation of 1/2 interest means they are reserving to themselves the right to 1/2 of the limestone under the property. The other 1/2 could go to you with the purchase of the surface or the other 1/2 could have been reserved by a previous owner/s or sold. Your title company should know, I would ask them if you are to receive the other half.

An excellent point, I had assumed the other half to be mine with the surface rights but I will now confirm that, thanks.