State Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Leasing

Since 1966 the State of Minnesota has offered leases of its nonferrous metallic mineral interests for exploration and development according to Minnesota Statutes and Rules. Primarily this is accomplished through a public competitive bid offering known as the Public Metallic Mineral Lease Sale. In some cases private mineral exploration companies have obtained negotiated state leases. Currently there are 191 active state nonferrous metallic minerals leases located within 6 counties in the northern-half of Minnesota. There are a total of 9 companies holding state nonferrous metallic mineral leases. Targeted minerals for exploration include copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), platinum group metals (PGM - group of 6 metallic elements), titanium (Ti), and gold (Au). 


Inside the Minnesota State Library home to Minnesota rules and statutes

Purpose and policies

Policies and fiduciary responsibilities related to leasing of state managed mineral rights for nonferrous metallic mineral exploration.
Purpose and policies »

Chart of public lease sales since 1966

Public lease sales

Information about the state's public nonferrous metallic mineral leases sales. DNR has been offering leases in this manner since 1966.
Public lease sale »

map for negotiated leases

Negotiated leases

Private exploration companies can also request the DNR to lease state managed mineral rights outside of a public lease sale. 
Negotiated leases »

DNR inspecting a drill hole site

Exploration plans and regulations

Minnesota's regulations and reclamation rules related to metallic mineral exploration.
Exploration plans and regulations »

Thumbnail image of active leasing map

Lease activity reported annually

How many active state nonferrous metallic mineral leases are there? Where are they located? 
Lease activity »

Snapshot of Nonferrous Lease Sale Web Map

State nonferrous metallic mineral leasing web map

Web map displaying active and historic state nonferrous leases along with lease sale, negotiated lease requests, and land use screening data
Web map »

Image of table showing the different types of surface and mineral estate combinations

Real estate terminology

Defining the surface, mineral, and severed estates.
Real estate terminology »

Exploratory Boring Box of Core

History of leasing and drilling

DNR analysis of 50 years of state nonferrous metallic mineral leasing and drilling. What is the percentage of state leased parcels that had exploration drilling?
Leasing history »


Further reference



View or download a selection of publications from Lands and Minerals Division including those related to mining and minerals.
Publications »


GIS data and maps

The Lands and Minerals Division has a history of creating, maintaining, and sharing spatial datasets and digital print maps.
GIS data and maps »


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