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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May 2020

May 22, 2020 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals lease

Talon Nickel (USA) LLC (Talon) is now proposing to continue exploration for metallic mineral deposits in an area extending about one-half mile south-southeast to about five miles north-northeast of Tamarack, Minnesota. Talon and Kennecott Exploration Company (Kennecott) have explored for nonferrous metallic minerals in this area since the early 2000's.

Kennecott, which designated Talon as the operator for the proposed exploration activity, holds the state metallic mineral leases. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has approved the operating agreement between Kennecott and Talon.

Talon's continued exploration plans include ground and down-hole geophysical work in select existing borings that are temporarily sealed. Geophysical probes will be inserted into the borings, if there are no blockages. A drill rig will clear any borings that are blocked at depth. Upon DNR approval, Talon has the right to explore state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules.

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


January 2020

Jan. 27, 2020 - DNR releases initial results from innovative study of Minnesota bedrock drill core

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is releasing initial results from an innovative geological survey that mapped the distribution of minerals of selected drill core at its Drill Core Library (DCL) in Hibbing. This fresh look at some very old rocks will help geologists better understand the potential for mineral deposits in Minnesota. A full description of this program, and access to both downloadable project data and the Coreshed virtual drill core library, is available at DNR's Corescan website.

DNR geologists scanned drill core samples of bedrock from Central and Northern Minnesota using a new method of mineralogical analysis called hyperspectral imaging. The technique combines reflected light spectroscopy with high-resolution photography to create detailed digital images and mineral maps of geological materials. This is a non-destructive method of analysis that provides high-quality minerals information without having to crush or consume valuable core material.

The 16,000 feet of core scanned for this project came from thirty-two (32) drill holes within five focus areas. This is a very small fraction of the DCL’s archive of three million linear feet of core from 9,000 locations across the state. The scanned drill core came from areas of the state with high potential for deposits of minerals like gold, manganese or cobalt. Project results will help geologists better understand where new deposits might be located, and will support effective DNR land management decisions on state-managed mineral interests. Scanned core from the Mesabi Iron Range also produced results that may be of interest to Minnesota’s taconite Industry.

The DNR hired Corescan, an Australian company, to obtain and interpret the hyperspectral images of the selected drill core. Corescan deployed a mobile laboratory, housed in a twenty-foot-long shipping container, to Hibbing in January, 2019. It took five weeks to scan more than 1,600 boxes of bedrock core and collect more than two and a half terabytes of raw digital data.

Corescan geologists processed and interpreted the raw data, and delivered project results to the DNR in October. Project deliverables include raw scan data, mineral identification keys, mineral abundance data, and a summary report. Corescan also offers clients access to a proprietary virtual drill core library called Coreshed. This on-line platform stores, manages, and supports the visualization of the project’s hyperspectral data sets. The DNR Corescan Project will, for the first time, give the general public log-in access to data that is archived within the Coreshed virtual core library. It also gives the public their first opportunity to remotely view DCL drill core on their computers or mobile devices.

Over the next several months, DNR geologists will review the released data, collect confirmatory samples, and prepare scientific and technical reports that focus on hyperspectral imagery results from the different focus areas and make recommendations regarding the value and viability of using this technique to scan more Minnesota drill core.

This project was jointly funded by the DNR and the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

 

Jan. 17, 2020 - DNR renews vital resource mapping program with new effort in southwest Minnesota

Minnesota geologists within the DNR’s Aggregate Resources Mapping Program (ARMP) have begun preparing for fieldwork, including gathering data about quality and quantity of aggregate resources, in southwestern Minnesota’s Kandiyohi and Redwood Counties.

DNR staff will coordinate with local county officials and landowners to produce county resource maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to identify the location of vital aggregate resources deposits area-wide.

Aggregate resources, essential to Minnesota's environment and economy, are key mineral ingredients needed to build and maintain the state’s roads, bridges, and facilities like hospitals and schools. The ARMP provides field-researched data that helps local governments and other stakeholders make wise use of mineral resources, the state’s natural environment, and local economies.

Funding for this resource mapping project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Kandiyohi and Redwood County maps and GIS data are scheduled to be published in fall 2020, followed by similar projects in Swift and Sibley Counties. Minnesota county leaders are invited to email Corrie Floyd to join ARMP and begin developing their own funding and deployment plan.

 

Jan. 17, 2020 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals lease

Encampment Minerals Incorporated (Encampment) has proposed mineral exploration in northeastern Minnesota.

Encampment proposes to continue exploration for metallic mineral deposits in St. Louis County about 5 miles south of Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. Encampment has drilled in this area since 2009 on an intermittent basis.

Encampment plans to drill exploratory borings in bedrock on up to 15 sites using the diamond core drilling method. The borings will be drilled and then temporarily or permanently sealed following regulations set by the Department of Health. Encampment, based on exploration results and site conditions, may adjust some of the drill sites up to 500 feet from the sites depicted in the summary map.

All exploration work will occur in winter when the ground is adequately frozen. New temporary access trails are proposed to reach some drill sites.

Upon DNR approval Encampment 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.


November 2019

Nov. 27, 2019 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Teck American Incorporated (Teck) proposes to resume exploration for metallic mineral deposits in St. Louis County about 5 miles south-southeast of Babbitt, Minnesota (Figure 1). Teck has drilled in this area since 2007 on an intermittent basis. Teck plans to drill exploratory borings in bedrock on nine sites using the diamond core drilling method. Teck also proposes to drill holes for environmental purposes on eight sites. Drilling methods for these holes may include sonic, reverse circulation and diamond core.

Upon DNR approval, Teck 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. 22, 2019 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Talon Nickel USA LLC (Talon) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Aitkin County in an area extending from about ½ mile north-northeast to about 3.5 miles north-northeast of Tamarack, Minnesota. Talon plans to drill exploratory borings in bedrock at four sites using the diamond core drilling method. Kennecott Exploration Company, the lessee of the state leases, has designated Talon as the operator for the exploration activity proposed. The DNR has approved the operating agreement between Kennecott Exploration Company and Talon.

Upon DNR approval, Talon 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. 13, 2019 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Talon Nickel USA LLC (Talon) has proposed mineral exploration in northeastern Minnesota.

Talon proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Aitkin County in an area extending from about ½ mile south-southeast to about 3.5 miles north-northeast of Tamarack, Minnesota. Exploration will include ground and down-hole geophysical work. Down-hole geophysical work will occur in selected existing borings that are temporarily sealed. Kennecott Exploration Company, the lessee of the state leases, has designated Talon as the operator for the exploration activity proposed. The DNR has approved the operating agreement between Kennecott Exploration Company and Talon.

Upon DNR approval, Talon 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.


September 2019

Sep. 6, 2019 - Auction Dates and Parcels announced for the Minnesota DNR’s Fall 2019 Land Sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 17 parcels at three public oral bid auctions this October. The auctions will be held in Virginia, Wadena and St. Paul, Minnesota.

The properties include unimproved recreational land in Carlton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Otter Tail, Pine, St. Louis, Wabasha and Wadena counties.

More information about the auction process and parcels can be found on the DNR’s Land Sale webpage.

Fall 2019 Auction Dates

  1. Thursday, Oct. 10 at Miners Memorial Building 821 S. 9th Ave., Virginia. This auction is held in conjunction with the St. Louis County’s tax forfeit land sale. The DNR will have its own bidder registration at the same time as the county, starting at 9 a.m. The county auction begins at 10 a.m., followed immediately by the DNR’s auction. Learn more about the St. Louis County land sale.
  2. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. at the DNR Central Office, Lobby Conference Room, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
  3. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. at Wadena County Courthouse, 415 Jefferson Street South, Wadena, 56482. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

Public auction details, parcel information and the latest updates will be posted on the DNR’s Land Sale webpage. You can also call 651-259-5432, 888-646-6367, or e-mail the DNR land sale coordinator.


August 2019

Aug. 7, 2019 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic minerals leases

Encampment Minerals, Inc. (Encampment) has proposed mineral exploration in northeastern Minnesota.

Encampment proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits in Lake County, Minnesota in an area located about 8 miles east-north-east of Babbitt, Minnesota. Encampment proposes to drill exploratory borings at 4 sites using the diamond core drilling method.

Upon DNR approval, Encampment 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.