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1993 Minnesota Session Laws

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    Laws of Minnesota 1993 

                        CHAPTER 113-S.F.No. 848 
           An act relating to natural resources; mineral leasing; 
          environmental research and protection; exploratory 
          mineral borings and data; lean ore stockpile removal; 
          oil and gas well spacing, pooling, and unitization; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1992, sections 92.50, 
          subdivision 1; 93.001; 93.002, subdivisions 1 and 3; 
          93.25; 93.46, by adding a subdivision; 93.481, 
          subdivisions 1 and 2; 103I.113; 103I.601, subdivision 
          1; 103I.605, subdivision 4; and 282.04, subdivision 1; 
          proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
          chapter 93. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 

                               ARTICLE 1 

                             MINERAL LEASING
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 92.50, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [LEASE TERMS.] (a) The commissioner of 
natural resources may lease land under the commissioner's 
jurisdiction and control:  
    (1) to remove sand, gravel, clay, rock, marl, peat, and 
black dirt; 
    (2) to store ore, waste materials from mines, or rock and 
tailings from ore milling plants; 
    (3) for roads or railroads; or 
    (4) for other uses consistent with the interests of the 
state.  
    (b) The commissioner shall offer the lease at public or 
private sale for an amount and under terms and conditions 
prescribed by the commissioner.  Commercial leases for more than 
ten years and leases for removal of peat that cover 320 or more 
acres must be approved by the executive council.  
    (c) The lease term may not exceed ten years except: 
    (1) leases of lands for storage sites for ore, waste 
materials from mines, or rock and tailings from ore milling 
plants, or for the removal of peat may not exceed a term of 25 
years; 
    (2) leases for the use of peat lands for agricultural 
purposes may not exceed 21 years; and 
    (3) leases for commercial purposes, including major resort, 
convention center, or recreational area purposes, may not exceed 
a term of 40 years.  
     (d) Leases must be subject to sale and leasing of the land 
for mineral purposes and contain a provision for cancellation 
for just cause at any time by the commissioner upon six months' 
written notice.  A longer notice period, not exceeding three 
years, may be provided in leases for storing ore, waste 
materials from mines or rock or tailings from ore milling 
plants.  The commissioner may determine the terms and 
conditions, including the notice period, for cancellation of a 
lease for the removal of peat and commercial leases.  
     (e) Money received from leases under this section must be 
credited to the fund to which the land belongs. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.25, is amended 
to read: 
    93.25 [ORES OTHER THAN IRON; PROSPECTING PERMITS, LEASES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PERMITS TO PROSPECT LEASES.] The 
commissioner may with the approval of the executive council 
issue permits leases to prospect for gold, silver, copper, 
cobalt, graphite, coal, and petroleum and, mine, and remove 
other minerals other than iron ore upon any lands owned by the 
state, including trust fund lands, lands forfeited for 
nonpayment of taxes whether held in trust or otherwise, and 
lands otherwise acquired, and the beds of any waters belonging 
to the state adjacent to such lands.  Such permits shall be 
issued for a period not to exceed two years and under such rules 
as may be prescribed by the commissioner.  
     Subd. 2.  [LEASES LEASE REQUIREMENTS.] At any time prior to 
the expiration of any such prospecting permit the holder thereof 
shall have the right to lease the land covered by the permit for 
the purpose of mining and removing therefrom any minerals which 
may be discovered therein other than iron ore. All leases for 
nonferrous metallic minerals or petroleum must be approved by 
the executive council, and any other mineral lease issued 
pursuant to this section that covers 160 or more acres must be 
approved by the executive council.  The rents, royalties, terms, 
conditions, and covenants of all such leases shall be fixed by 
the commissioner pursuant to such rules as may be prescribed by 
the commissioner, but no lease shall be for a longer term than 
50 years, and all such rents, royalties, terms, conditions, and 
covenants shall be fully set forth in each lease thus issued and 
the rents and royalties therein provided for shall be credited 
to the funds as provided in section 93.22 or 93.335, subdivision 
4, as amended.  
    Subd. 3.  [EFFECT.] The provisions of this section shall 
not be deemed to repeal or supersede any other applicable 
provision of law, but shall be supplementary thereto.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 282.04, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [TIMBER SALES; LAND LEASES AND USES.] The 
county auditor may sell timber upon any tract that may be 
approved by the natural resources commissioner.  Such sale of 
timber shall be made for cash at not less than the appraised 
value determined by the county board to the highest bidder after 
not less than one week's published notice in an official paper 
within the county.  Any timber offered at such public sale and 
not sold may thereafter be sold at private sale by the county 
auditor at not less than the appraised value thereof, until such 
time as the county board may withdraw such timber from sale.  
The appraised value of the timber and the forestry practices to 
be followed in the cutting of said timber shall be approved by 
the commissioner of natural resources.  Payment of the full sale 
price of all timber sold on tax-forfeited lands shall be made in 
cash at the time of the timber sale, except in the case of oral 
or sealed bid auction sales, the down payment shall be 25 
percent of the appraised value, and the balance shall be paid 
prior to entry.  In the case of auction sales that are 
partitioned and sold as a single sale with predetermined cutting 
blocks, the down payment shall be 25 percent of the appraised 
price of the entire timber sale which may be held until the 
satisfactory completion of the sale or applied in whole or in 
part to the final cutting block.  The value of each separate 
block must be paid in full before any cutting may begin in that 
block.  With the permission of the county administrator the 
purchaser may enter unpaid blocks and cut necessary timber 
incidental to developing logging roads as may be needed to log 
other blocks provided that no timber may be removed from an 
unpaid block until separately scaled and paid for.  The county 
board may require final settlement on the basis of a scale of 
cut products.  Any parcels of land from which timber is to be 
sold by scale of cut products shall be so designated in the 
published notice of sale above mentioned, in which case the 
notice shall contain a description of such parcels, a statement 
of the estimated quantity of each species of timber thereon and 
the appraised price of each specie of timber for 1,000 feet, per 
cord or per piece, as the case may be.  In such cases any bids 
offered over and above the appraised prices shall be by 
percentage, the percent bid to be added to the appraised price 
of each of the different species of timber advertised on the 
land.  The purchaser of timber from such parcels shall pay in 
cash at the time of sale at the rate bid for all of the timber 
shown in the notice of sale as estimated to be standing on the 
land, and in addition shall pay at the same rate for any 
additional amounts which the final scale shows to have been cut 
or was available for cutting on the land at the time of sale 
under the terms of such sale.  Where the final scale of cut 
products shows that less timber was cut or was available for 
cutting under terms of such sale than was originally paid for, 
the excess payment shall be refunded from the forfeited tax sale 
fund upon the claim of the purchaser, to be audited and allowed 
by the county board as in case of other claims against the 
county.  No timber, except hardwood pulpwood, may be removed 
from such parcels of land or other designated landings until 
scaled by a person or persons designated by the county board and 
approved by the commissioner of natural resources.  Landings 
other than the parcel of land from which timber is cut may be 
designated for scaling by the county board by written agreement 
with the purchaser of the timber.  The county board may, by 
written agreement with the purchaser and with a consumer 
designated by the purchaser when the timber is sold by the 
county auditor, and with the approval of the commissioner of 
natural resources, accept the consumer's scale of cut products 
delivered at the consumer's landing.  No timber shall be removed 
until fully paid for in cash.  Small amounts of timber not 
exceeding $3,000 in appraised valuation may be sold for not less 
than the full appraised value at private sale to individual 
persons without first publishing notice of sale or calling for 
bids, provided that in case of such sale involving a total 
appraised value of more than $200 the sale shall be made subject 
to final settlement on the basis of a scale of cut products in 
the manner above provided and not more than two such sales, 
directly or indirectly to any individual shall be in effect at 
one time. 
     As directed by the county board, the county auditor may 
lease tax-forfeited land to individuals, corporations or 
organized subdivisions of the state at public or private vendue, 
and at such prices and under such terms as the county board may 
prescribe, for use as cottage and camp sites and for 
agricultural purposes and for the purpose of taking and removing 
of hay, stumpage, sand, gravel, clay, rock, marl, and black dirt 
therefrom, and for garden sites and other temporary uses 
provided that no leases shall be for a period to exceed ten 
years; provided, further that any leases involving a 
consideration of more than $300 per year, except to an organized 
subdivision of the state shall first be offered at public sale 
in the manner provided herein for sale of timber. Upon the sale 
of any such leased land, it shall remain subject to the lease 
for not to exceed one year from the beginning of the term of the 
lease.  Any rent paid by the lessee for the portion of the term 
cut off by such cancellation shall be refunded from the 
forfeited tax sale fund upon the claim of the lessee, to be 
audited and allowed by the county board as in case of other 
claims against the county. 
     The county auditor, with the approval of the county board 
is authorized to grant permits, licenses, and leases to 
tax-forfeited lands for the depositing of stripping, lean ores, 
tailings, or waste products from mines or ore milling plants, 
upon such conditions and for such consideration and for such 
period of time, not exceeding 15 years, as the county board may 
determine; said permits, licenses, or leases to be subject to 
approval by the commissioner of natural resources. 
    Any person who removes any timber from tax-forfeited land 
before said timber has been scaled and fully paid for as 
provided in this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
    The county auditor may, with the approval of the county 
board and the commissioner of natural resources, and without 
first offering at public sale, grant leases, for a term not 
exceeding 25 years, for the removal of peat from tax-forfeited 
lands upon such terms and conditions as the county board may 
prescribe.  Provided, however, that Any lease for the removal of 
peat from tax-forfeited lands must first be reviewed and 
approved by the commissioner of natural resources if the lease 
covers 320 or more acres.  No lease for the removal of peat 
shall be made by the county auditor pursuant to this section 
without first holding a public hearing on the auditor's 
intention to lease.  One printed notice in a legal newspaper in 
the county at least ten days before the hearing, and posted 
notice in the courthouse at least 20 days before the hearing 
shall be given of the hearing. 

                               ARTICLE 2 

                         ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.001, is 
amended to read: 
    93.001 [POLICY FOR MINERAL DEVELOPMENT.] 
    It is the policy of the state to provide for the 
diversification of the state's mineral economy through long-term 
support of mineral exploration, evaluation, environmental 
research, development, production, and commercialization.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.002, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT.] The mineral coordinating 
committee is established to plan for diversified mineral 
development.  The mineral coordinating committee consists of the 
director of the minerals division of the department of natural 
resources, the deputy commissioner of the Minnesota pollution 
control agency, the director of the Minnesota geological survey, 
the director dean of the University of Minnesota mineral 
resources research center institute of technology, and the 
director of the natural resources research institute.  The 
director of the minerals division of the department of natural 
resources shall serve as chair.  A member of the committee may 
designate another person of the member's organization to act in 
the member's place.  The commissioner of natural resources shall 
provide staff and administrative services necessary for the 
committee's activities. 
    The mineral coordinating committee is encouraged to solicit 
and receive advice from representatives of the United States 
Bureau of Mines, the United States Geological Survey, and the 
United States Environmental Protection Agency. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.002, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [MINERALS PROGRAMS.] The mineral diversification 
plan programs must address at least the following:  aeromagnetic 
surveys, glacial till geochemistry surveys, geologic drilling 
and mapping, LMIC minerals data base, drill core examination and 
assay, industrial minerals characterization and research, 
bedrock geochemistry, nonferrous minerals 
research, environmental research and protection, reclamation 
studies, economic evaluation of mineral resources, improved 
geophysical and remote sensing base, acquisition of sampling 
equipment and analyses, determination of mineral rights 
ownership, ferrous minerals research, evaluation of mineral 
resource occurrence, evaluation of value added processes, ore 
deposit modeling, and basic mineral research.  

                               ARTICLE 3 

                          EXPLORATORY BORINGS 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 103I.113, is 
amended to read: 
    103I.113 [APPLICABILITY TO MINING ACTIVITIES.] 
    The provisions of this chapter do not apply to mining 
activities within a mining area described in a permit to mine 
issued under section 93.481 except a well or boring from which 
water is withdrawn.  The provisions of this chapter do not apply 
to borings made within an area for which a conditional use 
permit for kaolin clay extraction has been obtained from the 
appropriate permitting authority when the kaolin clay extraction 
activity will remove all of the materials in which the borings 
occurred except a well or boring from which water is withdrawn. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 103I.601, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purposes of this 
section, the following words have the meanings given them.  
    (b) "Data" includes samples and factual noninterpreted data 
obtained from exploratory borings and samples including 
analytical results.  
    (c) "Parcel" means a government section, fractional 
section, or government lot.  
    (d) "Samples" means at least a one-quarter portion of all 
samples from exploratory borings that are customarily collected 
by the explorer.  When the exploratory borings are being done to 
explore or prospect for kaolin clay, "samples" means a 
representative sample of at least two cubic inches of material 
per foot from exploratory borings of the material that is 
customarily collected by the explorer.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 103I.605, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [EXPLORATION DATA.] (a) By 180 days after 
termination by the explorer of a lease or other type of 
exploration agreement on a property the data from the 
exploration must be submitted to the commissioner of natural 
resources.  The data is are public data and persons submitting 
or releasing the data are not subject to civil or criminal 
liability for its use by others.  
     (b) Data that will become public under paragraph (a) may be 
submitted, with the prior written permission of the commissioner 
of natural resources, before the termination.  If the data are 
submitted earlier than the required time, the data do not become 
public data until 180 days after termination by the explorer of 
the lease or other type of exploration agreement on the property 
from which the data is are obtained.  An explorer submitting 
data before the time required by paragraph (a) shall provide to 
the commissioner of natural resources at the time the data are 
submitted and every 180 days thereafter after that time, in a 
format designated by the commissioner of natural resources, 
satisfactory evidence that the lease or other type of 
exploration agreement is in effect.  If satisfactory evidence 
that the mineral lease or other exploration agreement is still 
in effect is not provided to the commissioner of natural 
resources for a given 180-day period by the required date, the 
data immediately become public data.  The explorer may waive, in 
writing, the data privacy requirements and agree that data 
submitted before the time required by paragraph (a) are public 
data.  
     (c) Upon the written request of the explorer, data 
submitted under paragraph (a) are nonpublic data until 180 days 
after termination by the explorer of:  (1) all other leases or 
other types of exploration agreements on property located within 
the same government section as the property on which the 
exploratory boring was done, and (2) all other leases or other 
types of exploration agreements on property located within a 
government section having at least one point in common along its 
boundary line with the government section in which the 
exploratory boring was done; provided that the owner of the 
property on which the exploration occurred consents to the data 
not becoming public data. 
     An explorer requesting that the exploration data not become 
public data shall provide to the commissioner of natural 
resources at the time the data are submitted and every 180 days 
after that time, in a format designated by the commissioner of 
natural resources:  (1) satisfactory evidence that the lease or 
exploration agreement that provides the basis for requesting 
that the data remain as not public data remains in effect, and 
(2) satisfactory evidence that the owner of the property upon 
which the exploration occurred consents to the data not becoming 
public data. 
     If either of the pieces of satisfactory evidence is not 
provided to the commissioner of natural resources for a given 
180-day period by the required date, the data immediately become 
public data.  The explorer may waive, in writing, the data 
privacy requirements and agree that the submitted data are 
public data. 
     (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), Exploration drill core 
data and samples submitted before the time required by paragraph 
(a) under paragraphs (b) and (c) become public data no later 
than five years after receipt of the exploration drill core data 
and samples by the commissioner of natural resources even if the 
lease or other type of exploration agreement on the property 
from which the exploration drill core and samples were 
obtained described in paragraphs (b) and (c) has not terminated. 

                                ARTICLE 4

                 LEAN ORE STOCKPILE REMOVAL; OIL AND GAS
POOLING
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.46, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
     Subd. 9.  "Lean ore stockpile removal" means the mining and 
processing of low-grade mineralized material from stockpiles for 
the purpose of extracting iron. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.481, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [PROHIBITION AGAINST MINING WITHOUT A 
PERMIT; APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT.] Except as provided in this 
subdivision, after June 30, 1975, no person shall engage in or 
carry out a mining operation for metallic minerals within the 
state unless the person has first obtained a permit to mine from 
the commissioner.  Any person engaging in or carrying out a 
mining operation as of the effective date of the rules 
promulgated under section 93.47 shall apply for a permit to mine 
within 180 days after the effective date of such rules.  Any 
such existing mining operation may continue during the pendency 
of the application for the permit to mine.  The person applying 
for a permit shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner 
and shall submit such information as the commissioner may 
require, including but not limited to the following: 
    (a) A proposed plan for the reclamation or restoration, or 
both, of any mining area affected by mining operations to be 
conducted on and after the date on which permits are required 
for mining under this section; 
    (b) A certificate issued by an insurance company authorized 
to do business in the United States that the applicant has a 
public liability insurance policy in force for the mining 
operation for which the permit is sought, or evidence that the 
applicant has satisfied other state or federal self-insurance 
requirements, to provide personal injury and property damage 
protection in an amount adequate to compensate any persons who 
might be damaged as a result of the mining operation or any 
reclamation or restoration operations connected with the mining 
operation; 
    (c) A bond which may be required pursuant to section 93.49; 
and 
    (d) A copy of the applicant's advertisement of the 
ownership, location, and boundaries of the proposed mining area 
and reclamation or restoration operations, which advertisement 
shall be published in a legal newspaper in the locality of the 
proposed site at least once a week for four successive weeks 
before the application is filed, except that if the application 
is for a permit to conduct lean ore stockpile removal the 
advertisement need be published only once. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 93.481, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [COMMISSIONER'S REVIEW; HEARING; BURDEN OF 
PROOF.] Within 120 days after receiving the application, or 
after receiving additional information requested, or after 
holding a hearing as provided in this section, the commissioner 
shall grant the permit applied for, with or without 
modifications or conditions, or deny the application.  If 
written objections to the proposed application are filed with 
the commissioner within 30 days after the last publication 
required pursuant to this section or within seven days after 
publication in the case of an application to conduct lean ore 
stockpile removal, by any person owning property which will be 
affected by the proposed operation or by any federal, state, or 
local governmental agency having responsibilities affected by 
the proposed operations, a public hearing shall be held by the 
commissioner in the locality of the proposed operations within 
30 days of receipt of such written objections and after 
appropriate notice and publication of the date, time, and 
location of the hearing.  The commissioner shall determine that 
the reclamation or restoration planned for the operation 
complies with lawful requirements and can be accomplished under 
available technology and that a proposed reclamation or 
restoration technique is practical and workable under available 
technology. 
     Sec. 4.  [93.515] [OIL AND GAS WELLS; RULES RELATING TO 
SPACING, POOLING, AND UNITIZATION.] 
    The commissioner of natural resources may adopt rules under 
chapter 14 relating to: 
    (1) spacing of oil and gas wells to regulate the density of 
drilling to prevent unnecessary draining of the reservoir and to 
prevent economic waste of products from wells; 
    (2) pooling, which is the combining of tracts and mineral 
interests to form a drilling or spacing unit; and 
    (3) unitization, which is the acquisition of the legal 
right to operate a whole reservoir as though all tracts 
overlying the reservoir were under a single lease. 
    Presented to the governor May 7, 1993 
    Signed by the governor May 10, 1993, 2:58 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569