Minn. to Hold Off on Approval for Mineral Leases in Northern Part of the State

By KBJR News 1

Minn. to Hold Off on Approval for Mineral Leases in Northern Part of the State

December 6, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- State officials are postponing approval for the sale of leases to explore for minerals in northeastern Minnesota saying that the DNR needs to respond to citizen concerns better.

According to our partners at Minnesota Public Radio, the executive board said that they have decided to hold off on awarding a package of mineral rights leases recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, pending the results of a court case.

About 170 landowners petitioned the DNR to study possible environmental impacts of the leases that would allow for the exploration of copper, nickel and other valuable minerals.

However, the DNR denied that petition. The group has decided to appeal this case in court.

During the Executive Board meeting, Governor Mark Dayton said the DNR needs to be aware that there are many concerns from the public and environmental groups about copper-nickel mining than about iron mining.

Governor Dayton plans to meet with DNR officials and citizens in the next couple of weeks.

The court decision is not expected for several months.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard in Duluth on 100.5 FM or online at MPRnewsQ.org.