DNR taking bids on Minn. minerals leases
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources is auctioning rights to prospect and mine for metallic minerals on close to 64,000 acres in northeastern Minnesota.
Kathy Lewis, assistant director of the DNR Lands and Minerals division, says the land includes nearly 45,000 acres in Aitkin County, over 14,000 in St. Louis County and more than 4,000 in Lake County.
Interest in exploring for copper, nickel and precious metals is growing. But the state's last effort to award minerals leases stalled for several months over objections from private property owners dismayed at having to let prospectors drill on their land.
Lewis says she doesn't expect any controversy this time. She says the DNR will notify affected landowners after it opens the bids Oct. 24. The state's Executive Council must approve the leases.