Mineral Estate and gravel extraction for road maintence

Here is my mineral reservation I am interested in learning more about. This is in northern California and comes from a deed reservation in 1959.

The deed states and is recorded in the Official Records:

“Grantor hereby reserves to itself and assigns an undivided one-half
interest in and to all oil, gas and other minerals on, in, and under
the above described real property, together with the right to ingress
and egress for the purposes of mining and producing them”

I am seeking to understand if this mineral reservation would include the
"gravel", currently being transferred to the county for rural road surface



I don't know the answer but I believe that the proper question would be wheter gravel would be considered a mineral in California. If you could find the answer to that question, you could answer your question yourself.

Not likely. First, gravel is not a mineral, it is a rock. Second, the reservation, under the doctrine of ejusdem generis, contemplates the well bore method of mining. In other jurisdictions, gravel was held to be a part of the surface estate. California may be different, but not likely.

Buddy Cotten

Hello Buddy, I thought there might be a chance because gravel and scorea are considered part of the mineral estate in North Dakota.

Hi, Bob,

It sure could be. Fortunately, in Texas, in 1984, the Supreme Court came up with the "list" of surface occurring substances which were not considered minerals. For example, near surface coal was deemed to belong to the owner of the surface estate, since extraction would destroy the surface estate. Specifically excluded from the mineral estate was gravel, limestone, caliche, etc. We both agreed that you need to find out what it was in California.


Transfer of Mineral Rights (N.D.C.C. §47-10-24)

The discussion on this page focuses on the ownership of mineral rights, so it is appropriate to briefly review the law on transferring ownership of mineral rights in North Dakota.

The North Dakota general rule when transferring mineral interests states: All conveyances or reservations of mineral rights (except leases), conveys or reserves all minerals of any nature (and their compounds and by-products), except 1) those minerals specifically excluded by name from the conveyance or reservation, and 2) gravel, clay, or scoria (unless specifically included by name in the conveyance or reservation).

  • Gravel, clay and scoria are intended to remain with the surface rights unless specifically named as being severed by either the conveyance or reservation.

The exception is when the transfer of mineral interests is a lease: A lease of mineral rights transfers only those minerals specifically identified or named in the lease.

  • In the case of an oil and gas lease, all associated hydrocarbons produced in a liquid or gaseous form shall be deemed to be included in the lease.
  • The use of the words "all other minerals" or similar words of an all-inclusive nature in any lease does NOT lease any minerals except those minerals specifically named in the lease.

Clearly, North Dakota law treats mineral leases differently than other transfers of mineral interests (such as sales, bequeaths, gifts). As stated throughout this web site: seek knowledgeable legal counsel.

Buddy - Now on to California