News and Public Notices

Lands and Minerals News Graphic

Lands and Minerals releases information to the public regarding many subjects including but not limited to:

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

This webpage provides a home for 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. This does not cover PolyMet related news releases. If you would like to be notified of PolyMet related news releases please visit the PolyMet website.


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January 2019

Jan. 23, 2019 - Plans submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Three exploration companies have proposed mineral exploration in northeastern Minnesota.

Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Lake and Saint Louis Counties, Minnesota in areas about five miles east of Babbitt and eight miles southeast of Ely, Minnesota. TMM proposes to establish 6 new drill pads upon which monitoring wells will be installed, and to conduct down-hole geophysical and hydrogeological (HGP) tests at up to 9 existing temporarily sealed exploratory borings on State minerals leases.

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Itasca County, Minnesota in an area South of State Highway 1 and east of the Bass Lake Road. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings at 13 sites using the rotosonic drilling method.

Vermillion Gold Inc. (VGI) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Itasca County in an area 8-10 miles south of Togo, Minnesota along State Highway 65. VGI plans to drill exploratory borings at 7 sites using the rotosonic drilling method.

Upon DNR approval, TMM, AGAM, and VGI have the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plans, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 


December 2018

Dec. 28, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Itasca County within about 5 miles of the junction of State Highways 1 & 65, and in Saint Louis County north of Saint Louis County Highway 22 and south of State Highway 1. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings this winter on multiple state nonferrous metallic minerals leases on state, county and corporate lands.

Upon DNR approval AGAM has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 

Dec. 7, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Itasca County in an area about 6 to 10 miles west of Togo, Minnesota and south of State Highway 1. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings this winter on multiple state nonferrous metallic minerals leases on state, county and corporate lands.

Upon DNR approval AGAM has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 

Dec. 7, 2018 - Public Land Sales Update

The DNR recently held public auctions in October and November of 2018. Fifteen parcels were sold and the results are on the land sale website. One parcel, Itasca County Sale 31093, was not sold at the auction and is now available for purchase Over-the-Counter.

Over-The-Counter Sale

Instructions: interested parties should review the property data sheet and Instructions for Over-The-Counter Land Purchase and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

  • Itasca County Sale 31093, 36.83 acres. Purchase price: $43,000.

Future Sales

The DNR plans to hold a sale in fall of 2019. You will be notified by email when dates are set.

Why the DNR sells land

The DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land, and is continually working to improve its land portfolio by selling lands that no longer meet conservation or recreation needs. These land sales are done in consultation with DNR staff, local government officials and others to ensure the state’s public land base meets the recreational needs of its citizens, continues to provide ecological benefits like clean air and water, supports natural resource-based economies, and maintains habitat for a broad variety of fish and wildlife needs. Dollars from many land sales are strategically reinvested in high-quality land purchases that will fulfill the state’s conservation, recreation, and economic needs into the future.

 


November 2018

Nov. 27, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Itasca County in an area about 5 miles south of Togo, Minnesota. AGAM will drill exploratory borings on three state nonferrous metallic minerals leases over the next 12 months.

Upon DNR approval AGAM has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 

Nov. 19, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits about 7 miles east-northeast of Effie, Minnesota in Itasca and Koochiching Counties. AGAM will drill exploratory borings on 11 state nonferrous metallic minerals leases over the next 12 months.

Upon DNR approval AGAM has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 

Nov. 5, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Encampment Minerals, Inc., an exploration company, plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits on 3 of its state nonferrous metallic minerals leases. The project area is about 5 miles south of Hoyt Lakes in St. Louis County. The company has drilled in this project area since 2009 on an intermittent basis. The company plans to drill exploratory borings into the bedrock on up to 15 drill sites. The company may need to adjust some of the drill sites up to 500 feet depending on new data and ground conditions. The company states that drill sites will be located no less than 300 feet from the St. Louis River and all work will occur in winter when the ground is frozen. The company submitted the Exploration Plan to the DNR on Oct. 29, 2018.

Upon DNR approval the Explorer has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. The company will coordinate with other affected parties for access where needed.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.


September 2018

Sept. 25, 2018 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Vermillion Gold Inc. (VGI) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits on State Nonferrous Metallic Minerals Leases beginning fall of 2018. The exploration area is between the cities of Gilbert and Virginia, Minnesota, in Saint Louis County. Exploration activities will occur on foot and consist of mapping and collection of soil samples. Soil samples will be collected with hand tools. VGI submitted the Exploration Plan to the DNR on Sept. 25, 2018.

Upon DNR approval, VGI will have the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. VGI will coordinate with affected private landowners for access.

VGI has been exploring for gold in this area since the year 2007.

Find a summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities at the DNR's exploration plan webpage.

 

Sept. 24, 2018 - Parcel information released for the Minnesota DNR’s fall 2018 land sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 16 parcels by public oral bid auctions in October and November. The properties include unimproved recreational land in Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Itasca, Kanabec, Lake, Mille Lacs, and Wadena counties.

Information about the parcels is listed on the MNDNR’s Land Sale website. Please carefully review the parcel information and Instructions for Oral Bid Auction and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

The oral auctions for the land sale parcels will be held on the following dates and locations. Registration starts a half hour prior to the auction.

  1. Friday, Oct. 26th at 2 p.m. at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St, Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744
    • Land located in Itasca and Lake Counties will be offered at this auction.

  2. Thursday, Nov. 1st at 10:30 a.m. at Wadena County Courthouse, 415 Jefferson Street South, Wadena, Minnesota 56482.
    • Land located in Beltrami and Wadena Counties will be offered at this auction.

  3. Monday, Nov. 8th at 10:30 a.m at the DNR Central Office, Lobby Conference Room, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155.
    • Land located in Benton, Big Stone, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs Counties will be offered at this auction.

Check the MNDNR’s Land Sale webpage for the latest information on the DNR land sale. You can also call (651) 259-5432, (888) MINNDNR or e-mail [email protected] for information.


August 2018

Aug. 22, 2018 - Auction dates and parcels announced for the Minnesota DNR’s fall 2018 land sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer approximately 16 parcels at three public oral bid auctions in October and November of 2018. The properties include unimproved recreational land in Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Itasca, Kanabec, Lake, Mille Lacs, and Wadena counties. More information about the parcels and can be found on the DNR’s Land Sale webpage.

Fall 2018 Auction Dates

Registration starts a half hour prior to the auction.

  1. Friday, Oct. 26th at 2 p.m. at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St, Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744
    • Land located in Itasca and Lake Counties will be offered at this auction.

  2. Thursday, Nov. 1st at 10:30 a.m. at Wadena County Courthouse, 415 Jefferson Street South, Wadena, Minnesota 56482.
    • Land located in Beltrami and Wadena Counties will be offered at this auction.

  3. Monday, Nov. 8th at 10:30 a.m at the DNR Central Office, Lobby Conference Room, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155.
    • Land located in Benton, Big Stone, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs Counties will be offered at this auction.

For additional information call (651) 259-5432, (888) MINNDNR or e-mail [email protected]


May 2018

May 24, 2018 - Public land sale auction updates

Over-The-Counter Sales

The DNR has three parcels available for purchase Over-the-Counter for a limited time. These parcels did not sell at the December 2017 auction.

Instructions: Interested parties should review the property data sheets posted below and the Instructions for Over-The-Counter Land Purchase and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

  1. Houston County: Sale 128076 (40 acres, minimum bid - $112,800) PRICE REDUCED to $85,800
  2. Houston County: Sale 128077 (20 acres, minimum bid - $58,600) PRICE REDUCED to $45,000
  3. Wadena County: Sale 180073 (40 acres, minimum bid - $62,200)

Fall 2018 Sale

The DNR will hold an auction in October 2018. The parcels will be announced on this DNR Land Sales website at least 30 days prior to the auction dates. Additional information about this auction will be shared as it becomes available.

Why the DNR sells land

The DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land, and is continually working to improve its land portfolio by selling lands that no longer meet conservation or recreation needs. These land sales are done in consultation with local government officials and others to ensure the state’s public land base meets the recreational needs of its citizens, continues to provide ecological benefits like clean air and water, supports natural resource-based economies, and maintains habitat for a broad variety of fish and wildlife needs. Dollars from many land sales are strategically reinvested in high-quality land purchases that will fulfill the state’s conservation, recreation, and economic needs into the future.


April 2018

April 25, 2018 - Environmental research program announces results of FY 16-17 environmental research

The DNR Lands and Minerals Division environmental research program performs objective research that evaluates the potential environmental effects of mining in the State of Minnesota. The research program provides science-based guidance for environmentally sound mining practices that are protective of natural resources. This research provides a foundation of scientific knowledge to support environmental review and permit decisions for metallic minerals, peat mining, and reclamation.

Many research program activities occur at the DNR Lands and Minerals facility in Hibbing. The facility includes both a laboratory and an outdoor research site. The research site hosts ongoing short and long term experiments and provides a place to install and conduct new research initiatives to enhance the program objectives. The Hibbing research facility also serves as the home base for supporting DNR research studies across the mining region. A collection of over 40 years of environmental research is available on the Lands and Minerals Division research webpage.

Research Updates

Building on existing practices, the most recent work is a DNR report evaluating a potential new method to calculate sulfide mineral reaction rates from laboratory experiments and field environments. This report is available on the research webpage, click on the Fiscal Years 2016-2017 Sulfide Oxidation Report to view.

Additionally, the DNR was involved in research projects related to geomembrane integrity and the microbiology of Duluth Complex rock weathering experiments. The geomembrane integrity study is being conducted at the Hibbing field research site in collaboration with the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute. The microbiology study analyzed materials sampled from experiments conducted at the DNR Hibbing field and laboratory research site. The citations for these two publications are listed under Fiscal Years 2016-2017, click the respective hyperlinks for additional detail.


January 2018

Jan. 8, 2018 - Request for negotiated metallic mineral leases

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering a request by Vermillion Gold for negotiated metallic mineral leases in Itasca and Saint Louis Counties. The DNR has posted information about the negotiated lease request on its website at the following link:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/leasing/negotiated.html

The website includes an interactive web map displaying the requested area for lease and information about how to submit input to the DNR. The DNR will accept public input through 4:30 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 8, 2018.

All state metallic mineral leases, including negotiated leases, must be approved by the State Executive Council.

 

Jan. 4, 2018 - Public land sale auction

The DNR recently held a public auction in December 2017. Ten parcels were sold. The results of the auction can be found on the DNR’s land sale website.

Three parcels were not sold at the auction and will be offered Over-the-Counter. 

Over-The-Counter Sales

Instructions: Interested parties should review the property data sheets posted below and the Instructions for Over-The-Counter Land Purchase and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

  1. Houston County: Sale 128076 (40 acres, minimum bid - $112,800) PRICE REDUCED to $85,800
  2. Houston County: Sale 128077 (20 acres, minimum bid - $58,600) PRICE REDUCED to $45,000
  3. Pine County: Sale 158092 (11.6 acres, minimum bid - $24,600)

Spring 2018 Sale

The DNR will hold an auction in late spring 2018. Information about this auction will be shared as it becomes available.

Why the DNR sells land

The DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land, and is continually working to improve its land portfolio by selling lands that no longer meet conservation or recreation needs. These land sales are done in consultation with DNR staff, local government officials and others to ensure the state’s public land base meets the recreational needs of its citizens, continues to provide ecological benefits like clean air and water, supports natural resource-based economies, and maintains habitat for a broad variety of fish and wildlife needs. Dollars from many land sales are strategically reinvested in high-quality land purchases that will fulfill the state’s conservation, recreation, and economic needs into the future.