(a) The business of mining, producing, or beneficiating nonferrous metallic minerals is declared to be in the public interest and necessary to the public welfare, and the use of property therefor is declared to be a public use and purpose.
(b) The commissioner of natural resources is authorized to grant permits, licenses, or leases on and across lands owned by the state to any corporation or association engaged in the business of or preparing to engage in the business of mining, producing, or beneficiating nonferrous metallic minerals for pipe lines, pole lines, conduits, sluiceways, roads, railroads, tramways, or flowage, and to lease any lands owned by the state to any such corporation or association for the depositing of stripping, lean ores, tailings, or waste products of such business.
(c) The commissioner of natural resources is also authorized to license the flooding of state lands in connection with any permit or authorization for the use of public waters issued by the legislature or by the commissioner pursuant to law. The permits, licenses, and leases shall be upon the conditions, for the consideration, and for the period of time as the commissioner may determine.
(d) The county auditor, with the approval of the county board, is authorized to grant permits, licenses, or leases for all such purposes of or across tax-forfeited lands held by the state in trust for any and all taxing districts, upon the conditions, for the considerations, and for the period of time as the county board may determine. Any proceeds from granting the permits, licenses, or leases by the county auditor shall be apportioned and distributed as other proceeds from the sale or rental of tax-forfeited lands.