Idaho mineral rights can be sold or leased.
Mineral rights are the rights that a property owner has to minerals beneath the surface of the property. Mineral rights are typically granted to the property owner when the land is purchased. The property owner can choose to lease or sell mineral rights separately. Additional laws regulate the mineral rights on state lands, such as the General Mining Law of 1872.
Residential mineral rights can be sold separately from the rest of the property. The mineral rights cover what is under the land, not anything on top of it. A residential property owner may also mine his land himself, however local ordinances and mining law might restrict the type of mining on residential land.
Chapter 7 of Idaho civil code regulates what type of mining and mining claims can be done on state owned land. Title 47 gives potential miners the right to explore any land not already claimed by the state for mineral rights – this is called the right of casual exploration. The General Mining Law of 1872 allows prospectors to stake a mining claim on state lands in order to properly work the property. Notices are posted around the mining area so other people using the state lands will not disturb the site or get injured. Idaho government may also choose to sell lands with mineral deposits directly.
Idaho has a mineral leasing program in place, administered by the State Board of Land Commissioners. This board leases mineral rights from Idaho state lands, and controls more than 3 million acres. Proceeds from mineral leasing are used for Idaho public schools. All state land mineral leasing goes through the board, and the restrictions on a lease are 10 years in length and 640 acres. A miner also pays a percentage of royalties based on the types of minerals mined.