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Minnesota Mineral Rights Held by the State in Many Cases

by Kenneth E. DuBose on October 6, 2011

The state of Minnesota is beginning to lease mineral rights in the northern part of the state and landowners are finding out the hard way that minerals were reserved by the state decades ago. That is exactly why private mineral ownership is better than public. When companies get to negotiate with landowners, it is a truly efficient market. If they pay enough, they get to develop it and nothing happens before that point.

Metal prices and demand have reached a point that areas like Minnesota might become mining hotbeds. That’s not good news if you live above the minerals the state controls.

Many people likely would be surprised to learn that while they own their homes and the land the houses sit on, they may not own the minerals beneath the surface.

People in northern Minnesota are discovering the hard way, now that the state Department of Natural Resources has offered four mining companies the lease rights to the minerals beneath their homes.

Some landowners are fighting back and putting pressure on top state officials who will decide today whether to let the sales go ahead.

Read the entire news release at minnesota.publicradio.org 

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