Lands and Minerals News Graphic

News and Public Notices

The MN DNR's Division of Lands and Minerals releases information to the public regarding many subjects including but not limited to:

  • state lands sales
  • nonferrous metallic minerals lease sales
  • exploration plans for nonferrous metallic minerals leases
  • construction aggregate maps
  • data releases

This webpage provides a home for all Lands and Minerals related news releases. If you would like to be notified of these news releases please sign up below with your email address.


December 2014

December 2, 2014 - Exploration Proposed on State Minerals Leases

Kennecott Exploration Company submitted an Exploration Plan on November 24, 2014 for exploration activities to be conducted on 9 state mineral leases in Aitkin County and Carlton County, near the city of Tamarack. The company proposes to drill approximately 20 to 40 exploratory borings from December 15, 2014 to approximately April 15, 2015. The explorer has also proposed to conduct geophysical surveys in the bore holes and on the ground. The explorer has agreements or leases for the surface and mineral ownership on the parcels involved. Kennecott Exploration Company has been exploring for copper, nickel and platinum group elements in this area since the year 2000.

A summary map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/regulations.html

 


November 2014

November 5, 2014 - Geochemical Analysis of Four Saprolite Samples, Northeastern Aitkin County, Minnesota

Project LeaderDon Elsenheimer

Mineral Potential Project: #394

The MnDNR is today releasing third-party analytical results from four (4) saprolite samples in Northeastern Aitkin County, Minnesota. These samples were obtained from rotosonic drill cores completed by a mineral exploration company that is investigating a known copper-nickel bedrock deposit that is overlain by a relatively thick layer of glacial sediments and saprolite. Activation Laboratories (ActLabs) provided the third-party laboratory multi-element analyses on representative splits of both the bulk sample and the silt and clay fraction (-63micron).

Logs of these four rotosonic drill cores and related cross-sections were released in September, 2014. The analytical results obtained from samples taken from eleven (11) associated cores reviewed in 2013 have also been previously released.

Today’s data release includes a laboratory analytical report, a rare earth element plot, a laboratory data spreadsheet and a worksheet that combines analytical results from all fifteen cores. These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available for download at the DNR’s website:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mpes_projects/project394.html

 


 

September 2014

September 17, 2014 - Rotosonic Drill Core Descriptions and Interpretation of Glacial Sediment and Saprolite, Northeastern Aitkin County, Minnesota

Project LeaderDon Elsenheimer

Mineral Potential Project: #394

The MnDNR is today releasing drill core logs, cross-sectional depictions, and associated files for fifteen (15) Rotosonic borings in Northeastern Aitkin County, Minnesota.  These borings were completed by a mineral exploration company that is investigating a known copper-nickel bedrock deposit that is overlain by a relatively thick layer of glacial sediments and saprolite.  The goal of this project work is to evaluate whether layers of saprolite and clay-rich glacial sediment affect the efficacy of the soil gas hydrocarbon (SGH) procedure developed by Activation Laboratories, Ltd. (ActLabs) for delineating mineralized bedrock targets by sampling soil material that is inexpensive to collect when compared to drill core samples.

The released logs and cross-sections help characterize the extent of both saprolite and clay-rich glacial sediments within the area, and were used to guide the selection of samples for geochemical analysis.  The analytical results obtained from samples taken from the eleven (11) cores reviewed in 2013 have been previously released.  Samples obtained from the four (4) cores reviewed in August 2014 have been sent to a third-party laboratory for analysis; the results, once obtained, will be provided in a future data release.

Today’s data release includes drill logs, a sample location map, an associated GIS shapefile, and a spreadsheet with sample locations and related field data.  These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available for download at the DNR’s website:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mpes_projects/project394.html

 

 

September 4, 2014 - DNR land sale slated for October

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer land for sale at an auction in Virginia, Oct. 9.

The DNR plans to offer 30 parcels, all located in northeastern Minnesota. The parcels range in acreage from .50 acre to 102 acres and offer various opportunities for hunting, recreation and cabin and residential development along prime lakeshore in northern Minnesota.

The auction will be held in conjunction with St. Louis County’s tax forfeited land sale.

Parcels will be offered at oral auction at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. registration) at Miners’ Memorial Building, 821 S. 9th Ave., Virginia.

More information will be posted online at least one month prior to the sale. Additional information about the land sale and terms and conditions can be found online.

http://www.mndnr.gov/landsale

 


August 2014

August 7, 2014 - Exploration Proposed on State Minerals Lease

MMG USA Exploration LLC submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR on August 1, 2014 for exploration activities to be conducted on one state mineral lease in Aitkin County. The explorer proposes to conduct three types of ground-based geophysical surveys within State Minerals Lease MM-10490. These types of surveys will involve walking on the land with portable equipment. This exploration plan is not requesting approval of drilling activity. The surface land on this lease is owned by private parties. The explorer has proposed a Surface Use and Exploration Agreement to the surface owners. There has been active exploration for metallic minerals not far away within Aitkin County continuously since the year 2000, but never on this state minerals ownership block.

A summary map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page at:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/regulations.html

 


July 2014

July 22, 2014 - Exploration Proposed on State Minerals Lease

Encampment Minerals Incorporated submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR on July 16, 2014 for exploration activities to be conducted on one state mineral lease in St. Louis County. The explorer proposes to drill 1 to 4 exploratory borings at each of the two drill sites during the winter of 2014-2015 when the ground is frozen. The Explorer plans to drill at an angle from the surface of the adjacent federal land parcel, and the angle drilling may cross into the state minerals ownership underground. The Explorer does not propose to conduct any surface exploration activities on the state mineral lease, except for the use of the existing winter access trail. The company has been exploring for copper, nickel and platinum group elements on state mineral leases in this township since 2008.

A summary map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page at:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/regulations.html

 

July 10, 2014 - Exploration Proposed on State Minerals Lease

Kennecott Exploration Company submitted an Exploration Plan on July 3, 2014 for exploration activities to be conducted on 3 state mineral leases in Aitkin County, near the city of Tamarack. The company proposes to drill 10 to 25 exploratory borings between July 28 and December 31, 2014. The company also proposes to do geophysical surveys there. Kennecott Exploration Company has been exploring for copper, nickel and platinum group elements in this area since the year 2000.

A summary map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page at:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/regulations.html

 


June 2014

June 24, 2014 - DNR to Offer State Lands at Public Auction

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 10 parcels of land at public auction on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10:30am. Bidder registration will begin at 9:30am.

The auction will be held at the Kittson County Courthouse, Upstairs Conference Room, 410 5th Street South, Hallock, MN 56728.

Interested buyers are encouraged to visit the DNR's land sale information page at www.mndnr.gov/landsale prior to attending the sale. Property data sheets with full descriptions of the parcels offered for sale and selling prices are posted at this site 30 days prior to the sale.

 


June 13, 2014 - DNR Open-File Project 392: Regional Survey of Gold in Till, Cook Area, St. Louis County

Project LeaderDon Elsenheimer

Mineral Potential Project: #392

The DNR is today releasing geochemical analytical results from the silt and clay fraction and magnetic and non-magnetic heavy mineral concentrates from thirty-four (34) glacial sediment samples collected in Northern St. Louis County, at locations where State- or County-controlled surface ownership overlies State-owned or State-administered mineral rights. This is the latest data release for a DNR geological investigation that began in July, 2012, within an approximately 200 square mile area of historical gold and base metal exploration that lies between Cook and Tower.  In this region, an Archean granite-greenstone terrane is overlain by relatively thin layers of Rainy Lobe till and other glacially-derived sediments.  These are ideal geological conditions for using gold grain counts and heavy mineral geochemistry in glacial sediment samples to explore for proximal bedrock mineralization.

The 34 glacial sediment samples were collected in October 2013, and sent to Overburden Drilling Management, Ltd, (ODM) for heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) separation and gold grain counts.  The results of this processing and gold grain analysis were released by the DNR on December 19, 2013 (see this data release for a sample location map). Sample locations were based on initial results from 105 glacial sediment samples that were collected within the project area in October 2012, processed by ODM, and assayed by Activation Laboratories Limited (ActLabs). The DNR released those results to the public on February 4, 2013 and July 2, 2013. 

Today’s data release includes a January, 2014 analytical report from Activation Laboratories, Ltd. (ActLabs) and associated spreadsheet files.  These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available at the DNR’s web site.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mpes_projects/project392.html

Representative sample splits from these 34 samples have been forwarded to ActLabs for assay and geochemical analysis. The results of this pending analytical work will be released to the public in a future data release.  

Note: While the identification of gold grains in glacial sediment samples may bolster the assessed mineral potential of an area, it is not a determinable test (either positive or negative) for bedrock mineralization. This type of geological investigation should be considered only the first step in determining whether there are bedrock gold deposits in the area. The DNR uses this data for land management purposes.  


April 2014

April 17, 2014 - AITKIN COUNTY SAND AND GRAVEL RESOURCE POTENTIAL MAP AND GIS DATA RELEASED

Sand and gravel resource potential mapping has been completed for Aitkin County. A map and related GIS data are now available for public distribution. The GIS data produced for this project includes: sand and gravel potential, survey of gravel pits, geologic field observations, test hole locations, and sand and gravel sampling results. You can access this information by:

Other Notes - A crushed stone resource potential plate for Aitkin County and an associated GIS dataset will be published at a later date.


February 2014

February 27, 2014 - Notice of Call in Option for March 4, 2014 State Board of Investment and Land Exchange Board Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that one or more board members may be participating via telephone. The public may monitor the meeting from a remote location. Persons wishing to do so should contact debbie.hunt@state.mn.us.


January 2014

January 31, 2014 - DNR Open-File Project 394: Test of the SGH Soil Survey Method

Project LeaderDon Elsenheimer

Mineral Potential Project: #394

The DNR is testing the effectiveness of a proprietary geochemical exploration technique in an area of known copper-nickel mineralization in Aitkin County, Minnesota. In case studies outside of Minnesota, the soil gas hydrocarbon (SGH) procedure developed by Activation Laboratories, Ltd. (ActLabs) has delineated mineralized bedrock targets buried under thick layers of overburden by extracting and analyzing organic compounds trapped on surficial sediment. The goal of this MnDNR project is to test the method’s efficacy in an area of known bedrock mineralization that is overlain with layers of both saprolite and clay-rich glacial till. The project combines SGH surface soil sampling with detailed characterization of till and saprolite samples obtained from existing rotosonic drill cores.

In October 2013, the DNR collected surface materials from 152 sample locations and sent them to ActLabs for SGH analysis and interpretation. The samples were located within a grid that was proximal to a previously sampled grid (see July 2, 2013 data release). ActLabs performed the analysis, and provided the DNR the results in an interpretive report dated January 27, 2014. The DNR is today releasing the report, a sample location map, and a spreadsheet with sample locations and related field data. These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available for download at the DNR’s website:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mpes_projects/project394.html

The DNR will review these results in conjunction with those obtained in the first phase of the project, and will write a final report for this project.


December 2013

December 19, 2013 - DNR Open-File Project 392: Regional Survey of Gold in Till, Cook Area, St. Louis County

Project LeaderDon Elsenheimer

Mineral Potential Project: #392

The DNR is today releasing preliminary results from the processing and analysis of thirty-four (34) glacial sediment samples collected in Northern St. Louis County, at locations where State- or County-controlled surface ownership overlies State-owned or State-administered mineral rights. This is the latest data release for a DNR geological investigation that began in July, 2012, within an approximately 200 square mile area of historical gold and base metal exploration that lies between Cook and Tower.  In this region, an Archean granite-greenstone terrane is overlain by relatively thin layers of Rainy Lobe till and other glacially-derived sediments.  These are ideal geological conditions for using gold grain counts and heavy mineral geochemistry in glacial sediment samples to explore for proximal bedrock mineralization.

The 34 glacial sediment samples were collected in October 2013, and sent to Overburden Drilling Management, Ltd, (ODM) for heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) separation and gold grain counts.  Sample locations were based on initial results from 105 glacial sediment samples that were collected within the project area in October 2012, processed by ODM, and assayed by Activation Laboratories Limited (ActLabs). The DNR released those results to the public on February 4, 2013 and July 2, 2013. 

Today’s data release includes an ODM report dated December 5, 2013 that documents HMC separation and gold grain count work for the 34 new samples, a sample location  map, and associated spreadsheet files.  These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available for download at the DNR’s website:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mpes_projects/project392.html

Representative sample splits from these 34 samples have been forwarded to ActLabs for assay and geochemical analysis. The results of this pending analytical work will be released to the public in a future data release.  

Note: While the identification of gold grains in glacial sediment samples may bolster the assessed mineral potential of an area, it is not a determinable test (either positive or negative) for bedrock mineralization. This type of geological investigation should be considered only the first step in determining whether there are bedrock gold deposits in the area. The DNR uses this data for land management purposes.