State Mineral Lease Sales Postponed

A council of top Minnesota government officials has postponed the sale of 77 northeastern Minnesota mineral exploration leases on properties where the state holds the mineral rights but private individuals own the surface land.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the story HERE.

The Minnesota Executive Council — which consists of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, and attorney general — voted 5-0 to postpone the mineral rights sale of the properties in question, saying the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources had not done enough to inform landowners of potential mining interest in their properties.

The properties are located near Isabella, MN, where interest in copper-nickel deposits is high.  The council vote — the first to disapprove a DNR lease package since 1982 — was seen as a partial victory by those owning land over area where the state is leasing mineral exploration rights.

Mining proponents say exploration leases are vital to search for areas that might ultimately be developed into mining operations which would bring jobs to the area and royalty money to the state. Opponents claims the current laws are stacked against landowners.

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