Since 1966 the DNR has offered nonferrous metallic mineral leases on state-owned mineral rights through a public competitive sealed bid offering known as the Metallic Minerals Lease Sale.
What are Nonferrous Metallic Minerals?
A state metallic mineral lease grants the lessee authority to explore for a mineral deposit but with certain conditions. The lessee is under lease terms that have conditions to help protect the public and environment (see lease form). Any exploration on state land requires the explorer to send an Exploration Plan to the DNR for approval before any exploration on the ground can begin. If a lessee does discover a mineral deposit, environmental review and mining permits are mandatory before mining can begin.
Metallic Minerals Lease Sale Rules »
Leases need Executive Council approval
All state leases for nonferrous metallic minerals must be approved by the Executive Council (Minnesota Statutes, section 93.25, Subd. 2). The Executive Council consists of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, and attorney general.
2017 Lease Sale
The 2017 state metallic minerals lease sale is scheduled for June 9, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, Minnesota. Information related to the upcoming lease sale is provided under the tabs below.
Areas offered for lease in 2017 lease sale
Areas offered versus awarded leases
State leases and exploration drilling
The statistics above do not suggest future trends in public lease sales or exploration drilling.
Areas Being Offered / Map
Public Input Received
The list of lands being offered for lease was available for public input from January 30, 2017 through March 31, 2017. The DNR received four letters via email. They are posted here in a compressed zip file:
The documents are available in alternative formats. The documents are also available for viewing in the DNR Central Office in St. Paul. Please contact us at: MMLeaseSale.firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-259-5959 if you would like to view the documents or would like them in an alternative format.
Lease Sale Process, FAQs, & History
Learn about DNR's Metallic Minerals Lease Sale and more about nonferrous metallic minerals exploration and regulations.
Lease Sale Process
Lease Sale FAQs
The fact sheet below features a number of questions and answers about nonferrous metallic minerals leasing, exploration, and regulation.
History of State Leasing and Public Lease Sales for Nonferrous Metallic Minerals (1966-2016):
Learn more about nonferrous metallic minerals at the following DNR webpages and documents:
Why does the state lease its minerals?
The state leases its minerals on school trust lands to fulfill its fiduciary obligation to raise revenue for the Permanent School Fund. Minerals have generated about 80% of the historic total revenue to the Permanent School Fund. The state also has fiduciary responsibilities to raise revenues for the Permanent University Fund and the taxing districts and meets those responsibilities by leasing minerals on university trust lands and minerals acquired by the state through tax forfeiture.
The leasing of state-owned minerals supports the state’s policy “to provide for the diversification of the state’s mineral economy through long-term support of mineral exploration, evaluation, environmental research, development, production, and commercialization.”
Minnesota Statutes section 93.001. »