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Conveyances and Reservations of Hard Rock Minerals

Harold E. Popham, Proceedings of 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1956)

The term mineral is susceptible of various meanings. In a broad and scientific sense it is a natural inorganic substance having a chemical composition; in its ordinary and popular meaning it is an inorganic substance found in the earth and obtained by mining processes of bringing it to the surface. It is used in many senses, dependent upon the state of facts relative thereto and is not capable of a definition of universal application. In determining its meaning in any particular instance regard must be had to the language of the instrument in which it occurs and also to the position of the parties interested and the object in view. In a broad sense, any sort of earthy substance or substance found in the earth, other than ordinary common rock, is a mineral.
[114] Mineral occurs in three physical forms, either as a solid, liquid or gaseous. The term includes oil and gas unless the context shows otherwise. There are literally dozens of differently named minerals.1
Sand and gravel are minerals in a broad sense, also certain kinds of stone or rock such as building stone. Sand available for building purposes has been held a mineral sufficient to support a patent for a placer claim.2
Water is generally regarded as a mineral in a broad sense. (I wonder if this is the reason why some people don't like to drink water.)
The surface of the l