Up north, a last-ditch pitch to stop copper leases

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2011 - 10:57 PM

Old law says state can award drilling rights on private property. State's huge copper deposits have attracted mining companies, to the distress of some landowners.

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ZarephethOct. 4, 1111:45 PM

Though I feel for the land owners, I believe the mineral rights - and all other natural resources (including land) - should belong to the community as a whole. I also believe that those who want to claim those resources should lease rthe esources or right to harvest the resources from the community for the FULL market value of the resource. A 50 year lease seems like a way to lock in today's value for 50 years when inflation will probably increase the value - which the lease holders will keep for themselves, rather than returning to the community. Of course, if the leasee has to pay up-front for the whole 50 years, then it benefits the community (at the leassee's expense) if there is less minerals than originally assumed at the beginning of the lease. To be fair to both parties, the annual rent should be recalculated every year - to compensate for changing market conditions - ensuring the community receives the full rent for the privilege granted to the mining company while also enabling the mining company can earn a profit from their labor harvesting the resources.

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jhb8426Oct. 4, 1111:57 PM

Well, yes, you didn't read your title when you bought the property? Mine says in very plain language that I didn't buy the mineral rights.

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twinkie1Oct. 5, 1112:50 AM

Minnesota Nice.....Ha....Someone takes care of a patch of land while paying exorbitant taxes for years living on it and then some rich Mining Company comes along and destroys it right before your very eyes. Nice. Minnesota Nice!

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doughboy12mOct. 5, 11 1:01 AM

I have seen what a copper mine looks like and I will fight this to the death I promise you that. People will pay if there is to be a copper mine in my state.

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mistercasperOct. 5, 11 3:41 AM

So the state law is extortion. You can't pay the mineral rights fee or pay what they think the potential value tax they slap you with gives them the right to lease YOUR LAND!

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zoltanOct. 5, 11 5:02 AM

"Ongaro and mining company officials say they, too, want to protect the region and that new technologies will allow them to mine with minimal risk to water and air." ... Companies exist to make money, which will take precedence over protecting air and water, not to mention the irreprable harm digging will do to the land. The policies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that created the concept of mineral rights are based on resource explotation not responsible resource use and best practices for restoration. Allowing an antiquated framework to govern natural resources use today is an unwise, reckless and foolhardy policy.

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fisherman48Oct. 5, 11 6:02 AM

The state is a bully, and Dayton should be ashamed. Progressives!

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strat1954Oct. 5, 11 6:09 AM

I live in northern mn. The land I lived on had its mineral rights sold in the early eighties. Some test drills and exploration took place - but that was all. Just because the leases are bought means very little.

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thesealOct. 5, 11 6:23 AM

If anyone belives a forgein mining company is going to return land to its previous state, or even something close to acceptable, ask some farmers in Montana who were fortunate enough to have coal bed methane under their land. Not pretty. Contrast this with Norway, where deepwater offshore oil drilling is controled and owned by the government. very clean and it pays for the national health care system.

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tinosaOct. 5, 11 6:28 AM

Just a little taste of how Socialism works. When the government feels that something you have has value to the people, they can come in and take whatever they want whenever they want. The funny thing is that all the left wing socialists decry big business when it makes a profit for its stock holders, but they are more than happy to cozy up to big business when the state destroys a person’s dream in the name of adding tax revenue for their favorite projects. How’s that Minnesota Nice working for you today?

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