STATE OF THE ART REVIEW
(Claim Staking & Land Titles)
With Thanks to the
American Association of Professional Landmen
Revision: 4 August 2006
Author: Jack Caldwell
In the Royal Navy
in the middle of the 18th century, the term Landman referred to a seaman with less
than a year's experience at sea. After a year, the landman was generally
considered an Ordinary Seaman.
Later, the term evolved into a more formal rating for a seaman. In the
In this piece I focus on Landmen and their work for mining companies – even though I suspect most Landmen work for oil companies.
Here is the only announcement of an upcoming event involving Landmen I can find.
I know only one Landman whom I like, admire, and respect. Sylvia Good provides this description of what she does.
I am a Mineral Landman
with 33 years experience. I am a mineral
title specialist. I research title
to the minerals in fee lands, patented mining claims, and unpatented mining
claims--whatever lands the geologist is interested in; untangle
complicated title problems, whether multiple overlapping unpatented mining
claims or from a hundred years of recorded documents; handle title curative,
such as preparing deeds, affidavits, releases of leases, etc., or arranging for
probates; lay out claim-staking projects, manage the claim-staking
crew, prepare the notices of location, record and file with the BLM; and
handle the annual BLM filings for a number of mining companies. I have worked for mining companies or law
firms, and have been an independent consultant, as I am now. Some assignments take a day; some take nine
months; some take years (I once spent 3 years in
A good place to start looking for Landmen is the American Association of Professional Landmen. All you need to know about Landmen is described here.
Here is an extract from their site that explains more about the role and function of Landmen.
The American Association of
Professional Landmen is a voluntary international professional organization
that unites approximately 7,000 landmen and land-related persons through
professional development and service.
AAPL is made up of men and women with varied educational backgrounds. The
majority have business degrees; many have expanded their scope with law
degrees. In the past 25 years, numerous landmen have come from the petroleum
and minerals land management degree programs offered by several universities.
AAPL members work for major oil companies, large and small independent
companies and as self-employed independent landmen. The
national organization, has 44 affiliated local associations located in
different regions across the
You may of course stake your claim yourself. But, I would advise against it. Hire a Landman or lawyer. Contact the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (email@example.com, www.rmmlf.org, 303-321-8100) for the names of mining attorneys in the particular state.
Obviously they are primarily involved with the oil and gas industry, as are the majority of Landmen, but they also serve the mining and minerals industry.
Incidentally here is the definition of a term I had not previously come across: FARMOUT: A contractual agreement with an owner who holds a working interest in an oil and gas lease to assign all or part of that interest to another party in exchange for fulfilling contractually specified conditions. The farmout agreement often stipulates that the other party must drill a well to a certain depth, at a specified location, within a certain time frame; furthermore, the well typically must be completed as a commercial producer to earn an assignment. The assignor of the interest usually reserves a specified overriding royalty interest, with the option to convert the overriding royalty interest to a specified working interest upon payout of drilling and production expenses, otherwise known as a back-in after payout (BIAPO).
Their site continues on the issue of Landmen:
land status research in
* Land Status Research
* Claim Filing and Claim Surveying
* Contacts with Surface Owners
* Assistance with Claim Acquisitions
* Claim Holding
the Maxwell products is used by many a Landman and other folk in mining companies who are responsible for keeping track of leases, payment of rents, and reporting to authorities. Richard will have to tell you more as I cannot glean more from the brochures.
AlbertaLandman has software for the
management of land titles in
Does your company get your certified land titles from SPIN (Government of Alberta's website) as individual PDF titles? If your company spends a lot of time searching for titles, wading through PDF files, and pulling out current landowner information then it's time you looked at the Land Titles Module from Alberta Landman.
Ever a sucker for a good story, I confess my favorite is the following, and I make no apologies for the extended quote (if you are running out of patience, no need to go further, there is no salient information after this quote.)
Wrestler writes of Professional Landman Software: “In the early 2005 I got back into the title
business after a 20 year hiatus. I was working a large prospect in
(with thanks for allowing me to use this photo)
It seems there was a technology gap from the last oil boom, in the pre-computer days, to the present boom. Necessity really IS the mother of invention, and so the idea and impetus for the Professional Landman Software was born. Together with my software designer friend, Judy Schaefer, I designed and created this database tool to pull together ALL the information you need to manage any large (or small for that matter!) landman project – who owns what, what’s leased, what’s not, and what needs to be done to dot those i’s and cross those t’s to wrap up the project with a bow.
Because this lease management tool was created by an experienced landman specifically for leasing and tract management, it is the ideal, complete solution for the true professional landman, leasing agent, project manager, the end client and others in the oil and gas and right-of-way industries.
If we are
to believe the web, you do not need a Landman:
you can easily go out and stake your claim and proceed to mine. The guide to doing this in the
The topic is large and very location specific, so rather than go on at length here, I note that we are busy adding these links into LinksMine and provide them here for a while to non-subscribers:
for Privately Owned Minerals (