TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 53. MINERALS

SUBCHAPTER F. GEOPHYSICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL EXPLORATION PERMIT



§ 53.161. DEFINITIONS.
     In this subchapter:
          (1) "Mineral(s)" means coal, lignite, sulphur, salt, and potash.
          (2) "Geophysical exploration" means a survey or investigation conducted to discover or locate mineral prospects using magnetic, gravity, seismic, and/or electrical techniques.
          (3) "Geochemical exploration" means a survey or investigation conducted to discover or locate mineral prospects using techniques involving soil sampling and analysis.
          (4) "Public school land" means land dedicated by the constitution or laws of this state to the permanent free school fund, but does not include land with a mineral classification described in Section 53.061 of this chapter in which the state has retained the minerals, nor does it include areas within tidewater limits.
          (5) "Permit" means a license issued by the commissioner authorizing geophysical and/or geochemical exploration on public school land.
          (6) "Permittee" means the holder of a permit.
          (7) "Areas within tidewater limits" means islands, saltwater lakes, bays, inlets, marshes, and reefs within tidewater limits and that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of Texas.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 631, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 66, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 53.162. PERMIT REQUIRED FOR EXPLORATION.
     (a) Except for a person who has a valid mineral lease on public school land authorized by this chapter, a person may not conduct geophysical or geochemical exploration on public school land unless the person obtains a permit from the commissioner.
     (b) Every person who is authorized to conduct a geophysical or geochemical exploration on public school land shall comply with the commissioner's rules relating to such exploration. A person with a valid mineral lease on land subject to this chapter shall comply with the commissioner's rules concerning exploration.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 631, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 897, § 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 53.163. LAWS APPLICABLE TO PERMITS.
     Permits for geophysical and geochemical exploration under this subchapter shall be issued in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions as permits for oil and gas under Subchapter I of Chapter 52 of this code.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2453, ch. 631, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 624, § 49, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

§ 53.1631. GROUNDWATER.
     (a) Unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, deed, patent, or other grant from the State of Texas, groundwater shall not be considered a mineral in any past or future reservation of title or rights to minerals by the State of Texas.
     (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the State of Texas shall retain any and all rights to reasonable use of the surface and groundwater for mineral development and production purposes.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1091, § 32, eff. June 20, 2003.