Offer to mine for sand and caliche

I have 2 wells (one plugged and one producing ) on 80 acres (Lea E-25-23S-36E). How to know a reasonable lease/buy amount?

I should have added the person who called me wants to mine sand and caliche.

I know nothing about caliche and do not know much more than zero about frac sand. You might go to texasfile or courthousedirect and search Winkler county records. Input “Atlas Sand Co LLC” in the Grantee box and click on the search button. Scroll down to the Grantor result “•State of Texas •Trinity University Agent”. You might consider “previewing” that lease for a couple of dollars instead of buying all thirteen pages. In the referenced lease, or one like it, you may be able to find details about how much State of TX and Trinity U are getting per ton for frac sand. You still won’t know if your sand is different or more valuable than that in Winkler, though.

1 Like

@Vivian_Morrow_Jones Are you the surface owner or the mineral owner?

I believe I own both.

Both, I believe. It was purchased by my grandparents in 1928.

New Mexico classifies caliche as a mineral and it is owned by the mineral owner and not by the surface owner.


There are several NM experts on the forum, so they may be able to point you in the correct direction for advice about caliche.

1 Like

Let’s mine it in Lea Co!

1 Like

This is incorrect. Sand, gravel, and caliche are not typically considered “minerals” in conveyancing instruments. However, you have to look at each deed in the chain of title and determine the intent of the parties to conclude whether these aggregates were reserved along the way. See Rickelton v. Universal Constructors, Inc., 576 P.2d 285 (N.M. 1978).

1 Like

You are correct that Rickelton and other NM cases such as Bogle Farms (1996) look at the intent of the parties as to the reservation of sand, gravel and rock, and the terms of the deeds where the minerals are severed from the surface. Texas courts have held that caliche, sand, sulphur, etc are not minerals, based on surface destruction test for mining of these substances. However, New Mexico does not follow this rule. New Mexico supports the classification of sand, gravel, rock as minerals, and that it is intention of the original parties and the facts of each case which determines whether they are part of the mineral or surface estate, as discussed in Bogle case regarding the history of case law.

1 Like

This was helpful. Thanks!

1 Like

You are most welcome!