Silent to Minerals
How to Find Mineral Ownership
If it is important to know, definitively, who owns the mineral commodities in a particular parcel of land, you must conduct a historical search of that title.
NOTE: Historical Searches can be quite complex, especially when tracing back mineral ownership, so we recommend you utilize one of our staff assisted services to find out who definitively owns a mineral title.
Here are the options available to you:
- Conduct a Historical Search Yourself - This option will require a good understanding of the Land Registry and our online Search service. Check out our Historical Search Help site for more detailed information related to searching historical titles online.
- Submit a Historical Search Request (PDF) - Let us help you find the historical title(s) you are looking for. ISC staff conduct historical searches as far back as the original land grant to confirm the ownership of a mineral title.
- Utilize our Mineral Certification Service - If time is of the essence, and knowing when your results will be complete is just as important as getting the results, then Mineral Certification service is the perfect solution. Mineral certification is the process of ensuring conclusive ownership of mineral title. ISC staff conduct historical searches as far back as the original land grant to confirm the ownership of a mineral title.
When paper titles were converted to the new online system (2001-2003), ISC made every effort to reproduce the data on the old paper titles as exactly as possible. In the case of minerals, the 'silence' is carried forward on to the online (electronic) record.
Where mineral commodity ownership is "silent", ISC did not have the resources at conversion to do the necessary research to determine mineral ownership. Without enough information, no mineral parcel is created. As there is no mineral parcel, there is no mineral title.
The questions for the title owner of a title that is "silent is to minerals" are:
- "Who owns the minerals?" and
- "How do I find out?"
Through the long history of Land Titles in Saskatchewan, the precise definition of mineral commodities and their ownership has, sometimes, been challenging. Where the ownership of mineral commodities is not completely clear, the Land Registry must be prudent and thorough in its determination of where ownership rests.
This is especially so in the case where the paper certificate of title is "silent" as to minerals. Here, "silent" really means unknown or undeclared. The Land Registry knows from experience that it can not assume anything about mineral commodity ownership from a "silent" surface title. In fact, the ownership of minerals may be any combination of "included", "excepted" or "in the Crown". It is necessary, in each and every case, to complete historical research to determine the ownership.
What it says in the Regulations to The Land Titles Act, 2000
Section 6.6 of The Land Titles Conversion Facilitation Regulations states that where a paper certificate of title is "silent as to minerals", any transfer or any other dealing with the new surface title is deemed to include a transfer or dealing with any mineral commodity title that may, in fact, have been in the name of the owner of the surface title - until such time as a mineral commodity title is created.
This does not mean that all "silent as to minerals" certificates of titles are deemed to be "minerals included". On the contrary, research is still necessary to find where mineral commodity ownership lies. It does mean that if mineral commodity ownership does indeed "run with the surface", any subsequent dealing or transfer of the surface title is deemed to include dealing with or transfer of mineral commodity ownership.
For the owner of a title that was "silent as to minerals" this means:
- Research will not be done at conversion to determine mineral ownership if a paper certificate of title is "silent as to minerals". The Regulations provide that if it is ultimately proven that the surface owner owns the minerals as well, those minerals continue to be owned by the surface owner or any subsequent surface owner. This continues until the required research is completed and separate mineral titles (if any) are issued.
- If the surface owner wishes to retain the minerals after a transfer of the surface title, he or she is permitted to do so - but the required research is a necessary pre-requisite and mineral titles must be created.
- Titles that are partly silent as to minerals (e.g., have a reference to a particular commodity but no reference to the balance) are treated in the same manner.