The commissioner of natural resources may grant permits and licenses or leases on and across lands owned by the state to any corporation or association engaged in or preparing to engage in the business of mining and beneficiating taconite as defined in section 298.001, subdivision 4, or semitaconite as defined in section 298.34, for the purpose of providing the corporation or association necessary easements, rights-of-way and surface rights over, through and across such lands for the erection and maintenance of pipe lines, pole lines, conduits, sluiceways, roads, railroads and tramways. The commissioner may grant permits and licenses or leases for flowage rights, rights to transport crude ore, concentrates or waste materials over such state-owned lands, and may lease state-owned lands for the depositing of stripping, lean ores, tailings, or waste products of such business. Such permits, licenses or leases, may also authorize the use of state-owned lands by such corporation or association for plants and other buildings necessary to the proper carrying on of such business and may grant water rights and other rights requisite to the construction of wharves, piers, breakwaters, or similar facilities necessary to the carrying on of such business or the shipment of the products thereof. The commissioner may also license the flooding of state lands in connection with any permit or authorization for the use of public waters issued by the legislature or issued by the commissioner pursuant to law. Such permits, licenses, and leases shall be upon such conditions and for such consideration and for such period of time as the commissioner may determine. The county auditor, with the approval of the county board, is authorized to grant permits, licenses and leases for all such purposes across tax-forfeited lands not held by the state free from any trust in favor of any and all taxing districts, upon such conditions and for such consideration and for such period of time as the county board may determine. Any proceeds from the granting of such permits, licenses or leases shall be apportioned and distributed as other proceeds from the sale or rental of tax-forfeited lands.