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 nonferrrous 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.

April 2014


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

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:

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:

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.