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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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.


December 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Final Announcement of Minnesota DNR’s December Land Sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 14 parcels by public oral bid auctions in December. Three (3) parcels have been removed from sale. These parcels are located in Norman, Mahnomen and Otter Tail counties.

The properties for sale include unimproved recreational land in Anoka, Beltrami, Big Stone, Houston, Hubbard, Koochiching, Meeker, Pine, Wabasha and Wadena counties and lakeshore in St. Louis County. View the land sale map for additional information.

Information about each parcel and the parcel’s auction location are listed under Parcels for Sale 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 DNR will conduct oral auctions for the land sale parcels on the following dates and locations. Registration starts a half hour prior to the auction.

  1. Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Fergus Falls DNR Office, Conference Room, 1509 1st Avenue North, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
  2. Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the Beltrami County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave NW, Suite 102, Bemidji, MN 56601.
  3. Monday, Dec. 18th at 2 p.m. at the DNR Central Office, Lobby Conference Room, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155. Parking information for the St. Paul DNR Office can be found here: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/contact/directions_parking.html  You can also access the St. Paul DNR Office by public transportation. Visit Metro Transit’s website for additional information. 

For further information, email [email protected] or call (651) 259-5432, (888) MINNDNR.


November 2017

Nov. 27, 2017 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

Kennecott Exploration Company (Kennecott) submitted an Exploration Plan on Nov. 16, 2017. Kennecott plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits on state leases by drilling on 6 to 10 sites this winter and early spring. The drill sites are about 1.5 to 4 miles north of Tamarack, Minnesota, in Aitkin County.

Kennecott has been exploring for nickel, copper, and platinum group elements in this area since the year 2000.

Pending DNR approval, Kennecott will have the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. Kennecott will coordinate with the Aitkin County Land Department as well as any other affected private landowners for access.

A summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:
Exploration Plan Webpage

 

Nov. 17, 2017 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits by drilling this winter. AGAM plans to drill shallow exploratory borings at 47 sites in an area east and southeast of Togo, Minnesota. AGAM submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on Nov. 10, 2017.

AGAM will use a rotosonic drilling method. Rotosonic drilling uses high frequency vibration of the drill bit to advance and collect cores of glacial sediments and a short length of the underlying bedrock.

Pending DNR approval, AGAM will have the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. AGAM will coordinate with the Itasca County and St. Louis County Land Departments as well as any other affected private landowners for access.

A summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:
Exploration Plan Webpage

 

Nov. 15, 2017 - Parcels announced for the Minnesota DNR’s December land sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 17 parcels by public oral bid auctions in December. Information about each parcel and the parcel’s auction location are listed under Parcels for Sale on the DNR’s land sale webpage. Please carefully review the parcel information and Instructions for Oral Bid Auction and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

Two parcels will be auctioned Thursday, Dec. 14 in Fergus Falls at 2 p.m., seven parcels will be auctioned in Bemidji on Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. and eight parcels will be auctioned in St. Paul on Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. Registration begins a half hour prior to each auction. The properties include unimproved recreational land in Anoka, Beltrami, Big Stone, Houston, Hubbard, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Meeker, Norman, Otter Tail, Pine, Wabasha and Wadena counties and lakeshore in St. Louis county. View the land sale map for additional information.

You can call 651-259-5432, 888-646-6367 or email [email protected] for more information.

 

Nov. 7, 2017 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits by drilling this winter. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings at 28 sites in an area that covers less than a township. The exploration area is about 8 miles west of Togo, Minnesota and south of State Highway 1 in northern Itasca County. AGAM submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on Oct. 31, 2017.

AGAM will use a rotosonic drilling method. Rotosonic drilling uses high frequency vibration of the drill bit to advance and collect cores of soils, glacial sediments, and a short length of the underlying bedrock. The borings will end after drilling a short distance into the bedrock and then be permanently sealed, according to the exploration plan.

Pending DNR approval, AGAM will have the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. AGAM will coordinate with the Itasca County Land Department as well as any other affected private landowners for access.

A summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:
Exploration Plan Webpage


October 2017

Oct. 30, 2017 - DNR announces December land sale

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer 17 parcels in three public oral bid auctions in December. Two parcels will be auctioned Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Fergus Falls DNR Office, seven parcels will be auctioned at the County Administration building in Bemidji on Dec. 15 and eight parcels will be auctioned at the DNR Central Office in St. Paul on Dec. 18.

The properties include unimproved recreational land in Anoka, Beltrami, Big Stone, Houston, Hubbard, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Meeker, Norman, Otter Tail, Pine, Wabasha, Wadena and St. Louis counties.

Public auction details, parcel information and the latest updates will be posted on the land sale page. You can also call 651-259-5432, 888-646-6367 or email [email protected] for information.

 

Oct. 25, 2017 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits by drilling this winter. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings at 10 sites in an area that covers about 4 square miles near County Road 348. County Road 348 is located about 7 miles southeast of Bigfork in northern Itasca County. AGAM submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on Oct. 18, 2017.

AGAM will use a rotosonic drilling method. Rotosonic drilling uses high frequency vibration of the drill bit to advance and collect cores of soils, glacial sediments, and a short length of the underlying bedrock. The borings will end after drilling a short distance into the bedrock, according to the exploration plan.

Pending DNR approval, AGAM will have the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. None of the proposed exploration activities, including drilling and the access trails, would occur on private lands. AGAM will also coordinate with the Itasca County Land Department.

A summary report and associated map of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:
Exploration Plan Webpage

 

Oct. 17, 2017 - Plan submitted to explore on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits, such as gold, on state mineral leases approved Sept. 12, 2017. These leases cover portions of northeastern Itasca County as well as nearby lands in Koochiching and St. Louis Counties. AGAM submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on Oct. 10, 2017.

AGAM proposes surface exploration activities that include geological mapping, which involves visual examination of bedrock outcrops, collection of samples of bedrock outcrops and glacial sediments, and geophysical surveys. AGAM will use hand tools such as a hammer and chisel, hand shovels, hand augers, or portable hand-held power tools such as a posthole digger to collect samples. The ground-based geophysical surveys may include gravity, magnetics, electromagnetics, and seismic methods. These surveys will be done with portable sensors that passively measure properties of the Earth such as gravity. AGAM will gain access to the lands via existing trails and roads and will walk in where needed. No new access trails will be built, no trees will be cut, and no drilling is proposed in the plan.

Upon DNR approval AGAM has the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. There are private surface land owners over some of the leased state mineral parcels. AGAM states they will contact each affected land owner at least 20 days in advance with a description of the proposed activity and offer to meet with the landowner prior to doing any exploration activity on those lands. AGAM will also consult with the County Land Departments prior to working on county-administered surface parcels.

A summary report and associated maps of the proposed exploration activities is found at the DNR's exploration plan web page:
Exploration Plan Webpage


September 2017

Sept. 12, 2017 - Approval of Mineral Leases
On Sept. 12, 2017, the Minnesota State Executive Council approved issuance of 284 leases to four companies that submitted bids at the state’s June 9, 2017 nonferrous metallic minerals lease sale. The Executive Council approved issuance of:

  • 34 leases covering 14,870.93 acres in Lake of the Woods County to Afton Minerals LLC.
  • 238 leases covering 94,607.69 acres in Itasca, Koochiching and St. Louis Counties to AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota Inc., subject to special terms in two of the leases and exclusion of certain lands in three of the leases.
  • 9 leases covering 2,759.55 acres in St. Louis County to Encampment Minerals, Inc.
  • 3 leases covering 560 acres in Beltrami County to Solway Resources LLC.

Revenues from the leases will benefit school districts throughout the state, counties, townships and school districts where the leased minerals are located, as well as the state general fund.

Metallic Mineral Lease Sale Webpage

 

Sept. 11, 2017 - State Executive Council meeting rescheduled for September 12, 2017

The State Executive Council meeting will consider nonferrous metallic mineral leases resulting from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's June 9, 2017 lease sale at its Sept. 12, 2017 meeting. The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Room G23 Senate Committee Room, State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN.

Metallic Mineral Lease Sale Webpage

 

Sept. 7, 2017 - The September 8, 2017 Executive Council Meeting Canceled

The Sept. 8, 2017 State Executive Council meeting, at which nonferrous metallic mineral leases resulting from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's June 9, 2017 lease sale were to be considered, has been canceled and is being rescheduled. The DNR will post notice of the new meeting date, time and location on its website and notify GovDelivery subscribers as soon as that information is available.

Metallic Mineral Lease Sale Webpage


August 2017

Aug. 25, 2017 - Metallic Mineral Lease Sale Update
Sept. 11, 2017 - This meeting has been rescheduled to Sept. 12, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources held its 35th non-ferrous metallic minerals lease sale on June 9, 2017. Five companies submitted sealed bids on mining units in Beltrami, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and St. Louis Counties. Of the 195,324 acres offered for lease, 112,585 received bids. A list of the companies, the mining units bid upon and the amount of each bid is posted in the Bid Information Summary document. A web map is also available that displays the bid results.

The State's Executive Council, which includes the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor, will decide if these leases should be approved. The DNR will recommend that the Executive Council approve the leases at the Executive Council's meeting on Sept. 8, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in Room G23 Senate Committee Room, State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN.

Upon DNR approval Encampment has the right to work on the state-owned surface estate, which covers the new trails and drill sites. Other parties own the surface estate over some of the leased state mineral parcels. The Explorer states they will not conduct exploration activities on those lands or use existing access trails without prior agreement with the landowners.

For more information or to view the bid information summary and web map visit the DNR's metallic mineral lease sale webpage.

Metallic Mineral Lease Sale Webpage

 

Aug. 21, 2017 - Exploration proposed on a state nonferrous metallic mineral lease

Encampment Minerals, Inc. (Encampment) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits on a state nonferrous metallic mineral lease this winter. The project is about 5 miles northeast of Hoyt Lakes in St. Louis County. Encampment proposes to drill exploratory borings into the bedrock on up to 9 drill sites. Encampment may adjust some drill sites and trails due to local ground conditions and new data. Encampment also drilled in this project area in 2009.

Encampment submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on Aug. 14, 2017.

Upon DNR approval Encampment has the right to work on the state-owned surface estate, which covers the new trails and drill sites. Other parties own the surface estate over some of the leased state mineral parcels. The Explorer states they will not conduct exploration activities on those lands or use existing access trails without prior agreement with the landowners.

A summary report of the proposed exploration is found at the DNR's exploration plan webpage:

Exploration Plan Webpage

 

Aug. 2, 2017 - Data Released from DNR Open-File Project 400: Establishing the Potential for Lithium Mineralization on State-Managed Mineral Rights

Background: Lithium is playing an increasingly important role in our lives—especially in the form of rechargeable batteries. It may be possible to find lithium in Minnesota. This is the latest data release for a pilot project to gauge the potential for lithium deposits in Minnesota on State-managed mineral rights. These documents and a more detailed description of Project 400 is available at the DNR’s web site.

The DNR’s Reason For Collecting This Data: We will use this data to help make land management decisions. In addition, the results from this study may also aid the future growth of funds for the Public School Trust, the University Trust, tax-forfeit lands, and the General Fund.

Data Contained In This Release: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and electron microprobe (EMP) analyses were completed in the late spring and early summer of 2017. Four granitic pegmatite samples (from the same pegmatite), were analyzed using LIBS. 22 feldspar samples (from three pegmatites) were analyzed using EMP. All of the samples were collected near the town of Orr, Minnesota in the fall of 2016. This data release contains the results from those analyses and a map of the sample collection sites.

LIBS Data Includes:

  • Raw LIBS spectra
  • pegmatite sample photographs

EMP Data Includes:

  • EMP feldspar analytical results
  • EMP operating conditions
  • images of the feldspar samples

This release only contains raw data. It does not contain any conclusions or interpretations. The next steps will be to collect LIBS data from glacial till as well as from additional granitic pegmatite feldspar samples from Minnesota. We will release a report about our findings when all of that information is collected and processed.

For questions about this data release, please contact:
Andrea Reed
DNR Division of Lands and Minerals
(218) 231-8460
[email protected]


July 2017

July 24, 2017 - Exploration proposed on state nonferrous metallic mineral leases

Encampment Minerals, Inc., an exploration company, plans to explore for metallic mineral deposits on 5 of its state nonferrous metallic mineral 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. They plan 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. They submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on July 17, 2017.

Upon DNR approval the Explorer has the right to work on state-owned surface, which covers most of these state mineral leases. Other parties own the surface over some of the leased state mineral parcels and adjacent lands. The Explorer states they will not conduct exploration activities on those lands or use existing access trails without prior agreement with the landowners.

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

Exploration Plan Webpage

 

July 19, 2017 - DNR Open-File Project 401: Aeromagnetic Data Reprocessing Test

The Department of Natural Resources today releases via Open-File format several files resulting from a pilot project to test whether legacy statewide aeromagnetic data products might be improved by additional reprocessing and re-gridding of the underlying data. Minnesota’s existing statewide aeromagnetic data coverage and derived products provide geoscientists with a valuable remote sensing aid for interpreting bedrock geology in areas of the state covered by surficial materials.

The pilot project offers an opportunity to check whether advancements in computer processing and software can provide additional meaningful detail from the legacy data set, beyond that already extracted in the last round of reprocessing in 2007. Minnesota’s world-class statewide digital aeromagnetic data coverage was acquired, compiled and published over a twelve year period from 1979-1991 by efforts of the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) through funding by the State of Minnesota Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR). In 2007, MGS reprocessed the original data set based on updated software and computing power and released the results for public use. The 2007 statewide aeromagnetic data coverage is available at the Minnesota Geological Survey website.

The new pilot project data files are being released today so that users of aeromagnetic data may gain access to the project files prior to development of a final report. The Department invites aeromagnetic data users to review, compare and provide feedback on the reprocessed data, gridded products and optional derived products, and whether similar reprocessing of other legacy data blocks might be beneficial.

The open file 'sha_pilot_jun12_2017.zip' contains a contractor report, Geosoft format databases, Geosoft format grids, and DXF format contact vectors produced by contractor Scott Hogg and Associates (SHA) as part of the test. The legacy data used for the pilot project crosses several geologic terranes and includes portions of three aeromagnetic data blocks (Mora, Grand Rapids and CUS-East), altogether covering approximately 24,500 km of flight line data in a configuration roughly 20 miles wide by 200 miles north-south. The report and associated data files are available to download at the DNR webpage linked below:
DNR Open-File Project 401 - Aeromagnetic Data Reprocessing Test

For more information on this project, or to provide feedback, contact:
Dave Dahl
MnDNR Lands and Minerals
1525 Third Avenue East,
Hibbing, MN 55746
Email: [email protected]
Ph: (218) 231-8445

 

July 14, 2017 - DNR Open-File Project 392: Regional Survey of Gold in Till, Cook Area, St. Louis County

The DNR is releasing new gold grain counts from twenty-five (25) glacial sediment samples collected in an area southeast of Soudan in Northern St. Louis County, at locations where State- or County-controlled surface ownership overlies State-owned or State-administered mineral rights. This new data set includes duplicate samples that confirm the anomalously high gold grain counts from samples collected in 2015 within the Murray Road South Project Area, and provide additional support for the presence of gold within the focus area’s underlying bedrock. This mineral exploration method, which is used in areas where bedrock is covered by glacial sediments, cannot be used to determine the economic value of that bedrock gold; a comprehensive mineral exploration program would be required to determine whether there was a potentially developable ore deposit.

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 glacial till and other glacially-derived sediments. These are ideal geological conditions for using gold grain counts and heavy mineral geochemistry to search for gold within bedrock that is covered by glacial deposits.

The 25 glacial sediment samples were collected in May 2017 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 reported to the DNR in a laboratory report dated June 20, 2017. More than 97% of the recovered gold grains were 100 microns in size or less, and barely visible to the naked eye. These grain sizes are typical for gold in Archean granite-greenstone terranes.

Today’s data release includes the June 20, 2017 laboratory report, maps, GIS dataset, and associated spreadsheet files. These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available at the DNR Project 392 webpage linked below:
DNR Project 392 - Gold in Till, Cook Area


June 2017

June 19, 2017 - Executive Council Approves Lease Amendments for Mesabi Metallics site

On June 19, 2016, the Minnesota State Executive Council approved the modification of 32 taconite ore leases held by Mesabi Metallics Company, LLC (formerly held by Essar Steel Minnesota, LLC). The lease amendments reflect the terms that were approved in federal bankruptcy court on June 13, 2016 and supported by the Department of Natural Resources and the buyer of the Mesabi Metallics assets, Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC. The terms are captured in a Master Lease Agreement. Key provisions and requirements include:

  • Obtaining full financing of the project by Aug. 31, 2017
  • Completing pellet plant construction by the end of 2019
  • Completing value added iron ore facility construction by the end of 2021
  • Minimum royalty payments and other economic requirements designed to ensure completion of value added production at the site
  • Adjustments to the royalty calculation method to minimize the State?s risk during down cycles in iron ore markets

The modified mineral leases represent a proactive effort by the State to ensure construction of a new value added iron ore facility in Minnesota, which was the goal of the original Essar project.

Questions may be directed to: Jess Richards at 651-259-5379


June 14, 2017 - DNR Open-File Project 400: Establishing the Potential for Lithium Mineralization on State-Managed Mineral Rights

This is a release of four whole rock and trace geochemical analyses of granitic pegmatite. Field work to collect the samples occurred last fall, near the town of Orr, Minnesota. This data represents the first results of a new study examining State-managed mineral rights for lithium mineralization in Minnesota.

Today's data release includes the April 27, 2017 laboratory report, a map, and spreadsheet files summarizing the information collected. These documents, and a more detailed description of the project, are available at the DNR's web site:
Open-File Project 400

Lithium is playing an increasingly important role in our lives-especially in the form of rechargeable batteries. It may be possible to find lithium in Minnesota. At the DNR, we will use this data to help make land management decisions. In addition, the results from this study may also aid the future growth of funds for the Public School Trust, the University Trust, tax-forfeit lands, and the General Fund.

For questions about this data release, please contact:
Andrea Reed
DNR Division of Lands and Minerals
(218) 231-8460
[email protected]

 

June 9, 2017 - Nonferrous Metallic Minerals Lease Sale Bid Results

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources held its 35th non-ferrous metallic minerals lease sale on June 9, 2017. Five companies submitted bids on mining units in Beltrami, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and St. Louis Counties. Of the 195,324 acres offered for lease, 112,585 received bids. A list of the companies, the mining units bid upon and the amount of each bid is posted on the DNR’s website:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/metallic_nf/leasing/lease_sale.html

Following its review of the bids and bidder qualifications, the DNR will prepare a report and recommendation to the State’s Executive Council about the leases. The State’s Executive Council, comprised of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor, will decide whether to approve the leases. The DNR expects to bring the leases to the Executive Council for consideration at its meeting on September 8, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Room G23 Senate Committee Room, State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN.

The DNR is accepting written comments from the public specific to the bidders and properties bid upon until 4:30 p.m. on July 10, 2017. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] or may be mailed to:
MM Lease Sale
DNR Division of Lands and Minerals
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045

Any comments received from members of the public are classified as public data.