The state does not need to order environmental reviews when it awards leases for rights to explore for metallic minerals such as copper and nickel, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
State leaders have decided to hold off on awarding a package of mineral rights leases recommended by the Department of Natural Resources.
Citizens in northeastern Minnesota plan to file a petition Tuesday objecting to the state’s plans to auction off more metallic minerals exploration leases, saying the potential for new prospecting and mining could have a significant impact on the environment.
A panel of top state officials has approved the sale of 77 mineral rights leases to four companies that want to prospect for copper, nickel and other valuable metals in scenic northeastern Minnesota.
Federal officials have completed a final environmental impact statement on the effects of prospecting for copper, nickel and other minerals in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota.
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