Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is proposing a new severance tax for nonferrous mining operations that would replace four other taxes they'd have to pay under existing law.

Agriculture and Rural Development Director Keith Creagh told The Associated Press on Friday the tax rate would be 3 percent of the value of minerals that are removed from the ground.

It would not apply to existing iron ore or limestone mines in Michigan. Instead, it's designed for precious metals operations that are expected to be developed in the Upper Peninsula, including the Kennecott Eagle nickel and copper mine under construction in Marquette County.

Creagh said revenue from the tax would be divided between local governments and a new fund that would support economic development projects in the state's rural areas.