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FAQ – Mineral Rights, Claims and Geology

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  2. FAQ - Mineral Rights, Claims and Geology
How do I find out who owns the mineral rights to a piece of property?

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Mining and Minerals Division, which focuses on mine land reclamation and collecting annual data on active mining operations, does not administer or have information on mineral rights ownership.

COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR: Mineral rights are registered with the county tax assessor of the county in which the property is located. The New Mexico Association of Counties provides a listing of county offices and courthouses. The county tax assessor (free) and/or a private abstract or title company (not free) in the county will have all the associated filed land records.

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: The BLM New Mexico Field Office maintains information on mineral rights and has a public information room at 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87508, (505) 954-2000, where that information can be researched.

STATE LAND OFFICE: If the minerals are owned by the state, you can contact the State Land Office Minerals Program at (505) 827-5743, and this website for Lease Information – Minerals.

An Internet search for “who owns the mineral rights to my property” will provide links to information.

How do I locate, file and/or maintain a mining claim?

Before you can locate a claim, you must determine if the lands are, in fact, open to filing a claim. You can find this out at any Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office. The BLM administers the subsurface mineral resources on federal public lands. The BLM website provides information and guidelines on mining claims, locating/recording a mining claim, service charges and fees, and other topics. BLM also maintains the Federal Land Records System.

New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA), Chapter 69, Article 3 (Mining Location and Operations) addresses, among other things, boundary posts, posting notice, and recording fees.

Who can tell me where mineral deposits are located?

The Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, a division of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, functions as the state geological survey. The Bureau publishes geologic maps, resource maps and other types of publications which talk about the nature and occurrence of mineral resources in the state. It maintains an extensive collection of core samples, databases, and historical mining maps in its libraries. The staff of economic geologists and engineers is highly experienced in the New Mexico extractive resources industry.

Further information about the location of extractive mineral resources can also be obtained from the Minerals Program of the State Land Office and from this MMD web page of informational links.

Program-specific FAQs


Abandoned Mine Land Program


Coal Mine Reclamation Program


Mine Registration and Reporting Program


Mining Act Reclamation Program

Links to additional resources here and here