46-4. Surface and minerals in separate owners; partitions distinct.

When the title to the mineral interests in any land has become separated from the surface in ownership, the tenants in common or joint tenants of such mineral interests may have partition of the same, distinct from the surface, and without joining as parties the owner or owners of the surface; and the tenants in common or joint tenants of the surface may have partition of the same, in manner provided by law, distinct from the mineral interest and without joining as parties the owner or owners of the mineral interest. In all instances where the mineral interests and surface interest have thus become separated in ownership, the owner or owners of the mineral interests shall not be compelled to join in a partition of the surface interests, nor shall the owner or owners of the surface interest be compelled to join in a partition of the mineral interest, nor shall the rights of either owner be prejudiced by a partition of the other interests. (1905, c. 90; Rev., s. 2488; C.S., s. 3216.)