How to work this property

I’m trying to find the best angle to approach a property. The owner is 83 yrs old and lives in another state an hour away. The house is currently “rented” however hasn’t been mowed this year, and I’ve NEVER seen anyone there. House sits on 50 acres (rural). I have to believe the house is paid for and they are content because it’s rented. The place is falling apart since it’s not attended. My largest source for profit would be the mineral rights under the 50 acres. Do I need to take ownership of the entire property to accomplish this?

I’m looking for a “creative” technique. Sub2? Lease option? other?
Thanks, let me know what details I left out.

I should preface this post by saying that I am not an expert in the subject matter of your original post. I know a person who owns mineral rights investments, and we have talked on several occasions about this subject.
From my understanding, the land can belong to one person while the mineral rights belong to someone else. So, I believe that the answer to your first question is no, you do not need to own the land to own the mineral rights. In fact, if you own the land, and someone else owns the mineral rights, they may mine or drill the property without your consent.
You might be able to buy the property and then sell it without mineral rights, having kept the mineral rights for yourself.