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Agency expects interest in metallic minerals leases

State land within portions Carlton, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and St. Louis Counties will be up for lease Oct. 24 at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources metallic minerals exploration sale.

State land within portions Carlton, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and St. Louis Counties will be up for lease Oct. 24 at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources metallic minerals exploration sale.

The 29th annual sale is at 9 a.m. at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

Sales of the leases would allow for exploration, mining, and removal of metallic minerals such as copper, nickel, platinum, and palladium on certain state-owned or state-administered lands. No land or water within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Voyaguers National Park are included in the lease sale.

Some of the land has been offered in previous lease sales, according to a DNR news release.

However, based upon interest shown by the metallics metals industry, updated geologic data, and new exploration techniques, DNR officials say some of the land being offered could hold significant potential for the discovery of mineral resources. Some new lands are also being offered for lease.

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Several metallic minerals developers are already seeking to develop base and precious metals mines in Northeastern Minnesota.

PolyMet Mining Corp. of Vancouver, B.C., is planning a $380 million facility, including a new mine south of Babbitt. Franconia Minerals and Duluth Metals are doing exploratory drilling near Babbitt and Ely.

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