Posted at: 12/29/2012 3:11 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota collected a record $51 million in mineral revenues in the 2012 fiscal year.
The Department of Natural Resources says that's up 44 percent over last year's record of $35.5 million. Most of the money goes into trust funds that support Minnesota's K-12 schools and the University of Minnesota.
The DNR says 97 percent of the revenue came from iron ore production, while other metallic minerals, peat and stone generated the remaining funds.
Global demand for steel continues to drive Minnesota's taconite industry.
Minnesota does not yet allow copper, nickel and precious metals mining but plans are in the works. The DNR estimates that three non-ferrous mineral deposits identified as potential mines could generate $2.4 billion in added revenue to the school trust fund over the life of the mines.