MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota lawmakers are ramping up efforts to prevent mining companies from gaining a foothold in Minnesota with legislation that aims to slow or ban copper-nickel mining in the state's northeastern Iron Range.

Legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and a companion state bill seek to ban copper mining on federal lands in the Rainy River watershed.

Another state bill wouldn't ban mining but would force companies to prove that they had safely operated a similar non-iron mine elsewhere.

A bipartisan group of seven state lawmakers representing communities in northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range came out against the legislation.