Mining

We offer solid mineral leases through direct negotiation or competitive sealed bit, and  leases are subject to approval by our board. Exploration permits can be issued by staff for up to 24 months.

We currently have leases for:

  • Stone, sand, gravel, limestone, and clay
  • Coal
  • Base metals
  • Precious metals
  • Gemstones
  • Decorative rock

In addition, our lands have documented potential for:

  • Rare earths
  • Lithium
  • Perlite
  • and more!

The Colorado Geological Survey constructed ArcGIS shape files of Solid Minerals potential on State Trust Lands. Download these files.

We also offer oil and gas leases. 

For questions or assistance about solid mineral leases, please contact Ben Teschner, Solid Minerals Leasing Manager, at 303-866-3454 x 3313 (benjamin.teschner@state.co.us).

mining rocks

Split estates

In Colorado, a property's surface and minerals can be owned by two different parties. The is called Split Estate. Approximately one million acres of State Land Board mineral ownership falls into this category of split estate such that our agency owns the minerals while another party owns the surface. These cases can raise a number of questions about who has the rights to do what. For questions about split estate, contact Ben Teschner, Solid Minerals Leasing Manager (x3313 or benjamin.teschner@state.co.us).

What are considered minerals?

In case of severed estate, the State Land Board has 100 percentof the rights to all mineral assets on the property. These include material sometimes referred to as "surface minerals" such as sand, gravel, and scoria.

No Surface Occupancy Agreements

By Colorado law, the mineral rights are considered the "dominant estate" and the surface owner may not prevent the mineral rights holder from "entering up and using that amount of the surface taht is reasonable and necessary to explore for, develop and produce" the minerals. One way that surface rights holders can insure against displacement from mineral rights holders is to enter into a "No Surface Occupancy Agreement." Learn more about these agreements

Stewardship stipulations

Our lessees must comply with all local, state, and federal regulations. And they are required to obtain necessary local, state, and federal permits. Additionally, all of our lessees are required to follow our site-specific stewardship stipulations. Violating stewardship stipulations may result in lease termination. 

The Colorado Division of Mining, Reclamation, and Safety (DRMS) is the regulatory agency for solid mineral development in Colorado. The State Land Board is a separate agency from DRMS. Our agency and our lessees are subject to the same local, state, and federal rules and requirements as any private land owner.

Here's a diagram that depicts the solid minerals leasing process:

solid minerals diagram of leasing process

Q&A

The State Land Board considers lease proposals on any leasable mineral. The most common lease types are oil & gas, CO2, coal, sand and gravel, crushed stone, and limestone. Other activities and lease types include water disposal wells, gas storage, geothermal, surface use agreements, no surface occupancy agreements, and mineral non-development leases.

Solid mineral leases are usually issued through direct negotiation and are subject to a review and approval process that takes a minimum of 60 days.  These lease types may also be offered through a planned development process, such as a Request for Proposal (RFP) or other competitive strategy, especially large-scale properties.  All new lease proposals are subject to board approval.

The State Land Board's GIS Map Server can be used to locate state trust land minerals.

Solid minerals leases carry either a five- or ten-year primary term. Annual rentals are $3.00 per acre per year. Advance minimum royalty and production royalty are determined at the time the lease is issued, based on the mineral being mined, the potential for production, and the location of the mined property.

Bonding requirements for Solid Mineral leases may be satisfied by obtaining the required Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety bond. However, additional bonding may be imposed at the Board's discretion.

Yes, there is a Solid Minerals Development policy adopted by the Board for this type of leasing.  Please note, other Board policies may be applicable as well.

Yes. Please see the State Land Board’s Fees & Payment Considerations schedule for details.

Application instructions