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Mining in Minnesota. Land Ownership in Minnesota. Land Area 51.2 million acres Water Area 2.6 million acres. How should (do) we produce “recreation”. How should (do) we produce timber. U S Forest Service Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry St. Louis County Land Department

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Mining in Minnesota

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Mining in minnesota

Mining in Minnesota

Land ownership in minnesota

Land Ownership in Minnesota

  • Land Area 51.2 million acres

  • Water Area 2.6 million acres

How should do we produce recreation

How should (do) we produce “recreation”

How should do we produce timber

How should (do) we produce timber

U S Forest Service

Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry

St. Louis County Land Department

Timber Investment Management Organizations

How should do we produce wetlands

How should (do) we produce wetlands?

  • Wetlands (EPA)

  • National Wetlands Inventory (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

  • Wetlands Regulation Center (Environmental Technical Services Co.)

  • Wetlands (Minnesota DNR)

  • Wetlands (Minnesota Statutes)

  • Wetland Conservation (Board of Water and Soil Resources)



Mining in minnesota

  • Public Private

How do we produce mineral products

How do we produce mineral products?

Mining in minnesota

Taconite Operations



Port facilities

Industrial Minerals

Crushed stone



Silica sand

Kaolin clay


Mining in minnesota

Geology of Minnesota

Mining in minnesota

Policy for mineral development

Policy for Mineral Development

  • Minnesota Statutes c.93

  • 93.001 It is the policy of the state to provide for the diversification of the state’s mineral economy through long-term support of mineral exploration, evaluation, environmental research, development, production and commercialization

  • 93.003 Legal authority to mine and process iron ore, a basic irreplaceable natural resource of the people of the state of Minnesota, is subject to the conditions of this section. When the owner or operator of an iron mine or related production or beneficiation facilities determines to discontinue the operation of the mine or facilities for any reason it shall maintain the mine or facilities in salable operating condition for at least two years after it discontinues operation in order to allow the state of Minnesota and other interested public and private bodies to seek a new owner and operator

Mining in minnesota

  • 93.01 The state hereby reserves for its own use all the iron, coal, copper, gold, and other valuable minerals, and all water powers in or upon all lands which now or hereafter may belong to it by virtue of any act of Congress

Iron range

Iron Range

Iron range1

Iron Range

Mining in minnesota

Mining in minnesota

Hibbing Taconite pit activity (You Tube)

Mining in minnesota

Construction and Building MaterialsVolume 23, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 3070

Mining in minnesota

Will there be taconite plant dominoes?



  • The Mesabi Iron Range (

  • Statistics of US businesses. 2006. Mining Minnesota (US Census Bureau)

  • The Mineral Industry of Minnesota (US Geological Survey)

  • Iron Ore Statistics and Information (USGS)

  • Taconite Mining and Processing Industry Profile (EPA, 2001)

  • Iron Mining Association of Minnesota

  • Mining in Minnesota (National Mining Association)

  • Minnesota iron mining-our communities, state and nation depend on it (Iron Mining Association)

Mining in minnesota

  • Mining in Minnesota’s Iron Range (Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area)

  • Governor’s Committee on Minnesota’s Mining Future Final Report 2004

  • Governor’s Committee on Minnesota’s Mining Future (Update Oct. 2008)

  • Steel Plan could hurt Iron Range (Fedgazette May 2002)

  • Iron Range – Mining frontier (Macalester College)

Mining in minnesota

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Lands and Minerals

  • Mining in Minnesota (Minnesota DNR)

  • Geology Education (DNR)

Minnesota iron mining

Minnesota Iron Mining

  • Tied to steel tracks (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

  • Minnesota pilot plant (Online Insider)

  • Iron mining 2002 (MPR)

  • Surprise revival for iron mines of Minnesota (Christian Science Monitor April 22,2004)

  • Minnesota iron goes global (MPR May 19, 2005)

  • In Minnesota, mining makes and comeback ( Nov 21, 2007)

  • Session Daily - Mining proposals come under scrutiny (Jan. 25 2008)

  • New mining era for northeastern Minnesota -- and new environmental worries ( Jan 24, 2008)

  • Mining (Sierra Club, North Star Chapter)

Mining in minnesota

  • Layoffs loom as Iron Range feels pinch of tough economy (MPR Dec 1, 2008)

  • Taconite piles up as Iron Range mines shut down (

Mining in minnesota

  • In 2006, Minnesota’s nonfuel raw mineral production valued at $2.54 billion

  • $350 million, or 16%, increase from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value for 2005

  • Nation’s leading iron ore producing State in 2006 about 80% of ore within the United States

  • Iron ore is the State’s leading nonfuel mineral, ca.85% of the total nonfuel mineral production value

  • Construction sand and gravel

  • Crushed stone

  • Industrial sand and gravel

  • Dimension stone

  • Lime

  • Peat

  • Common clays

  • Gemstones

Mining in minnesota

  • 6 producing iron ore mines in Northeast Minnesota capable of producing over 40 million tons of taconite annually

  • The iron mines directly contribute $1.8 billion to the economy of Minnesota every year in the form of purchases, wages and benefits, taxes, and royalties

Mining in minnesota

  • 6 producing iron ore mines in Northeast Minnesota capable of producing over 40 million tons of taconite annually

  • The iron mines directly contribute $1.8 billion to the economy of Minnesota every year in the form of purchases, wages and benefits, taxes, and royalties

  • Subsequent business impact induced as the result of iron mining is responsible for more than an additional $1.6 billion—making the total economic impact $3.1 billion on the state and region’s economy

  • Currently the mines directly employ approximately 3,000 men and women, with supporting an additional 1210,000 employed by vendors jobs

Mining in minnesota

  • 6 producing iron ore mines in Northeast Minnesota capable of producing over 40 million tons of taconite annually

  • The iron mines directly contribute $1.8 billion to the economy of Minnesota every year in the form of purchases, wages and benefits, taxes, and royalties

  • Subsequent business impact induced as the result of iron mining is responsible for more than an additional $1.6 billion—making the total economic impact $3.1 billion on the state and region’s economy

  • Currently the mines directly employ approximately 3,000 men and women, with supporting an additional 1210,000 employed by vendors jobs

  • Part of the direct impact to the economy includes taxes and royalties paid by the iron mining industry

  • Taxes payable in 2008 equaled $148.7 million

  • Distribution of those taxes included $56.9 million towards Minnesota’s education--$45.8 million to K-12 and $11.1 million to the University Trust Fund

Historical overview

Historical Overview

  • History of mining and quarrying in Minnesota (Upham,1898)

  • Iron Mining in Minnesota (Van Barneveld, 1912)

  • Timeline of Minnesota’s Iron Range (MPR)

Iron mining

Iron Mining

  • “Natural Ore” – Hematite

  • Taconite

  • Taconite (Wikipedia)

  • Taconite Mining and Processing Industry Profile (EPA, 2001)

  • Taconite (Minnesota Statutes)

  • Taconite (Minnesota Historical Society)

  • Iron Ore: Energy, Labor, and Capital Changes with Technology (1978)

  • Iron Ore: From Depletion to Abundance (1981)

  • Mining Minnesota (non ferrous)

State s role in mining

State’s Role in Mining

  • State Mineral Leasing, Exploration, and Development (DNR)

  • Metallic Mineral Exploration and State Mineral Leasing in Minnesota (DNR)

  • State Nonferrous Metallic Minerals Leasing (DNR)

  • Minerals Management Account (DNR)

  • Revenue Received from State Mineral Leases FY 1890-2011 (DNR)

  • US Steel Keetac Taconite Mines Expansion Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (Nov 2010)

Minnesota constitution article x taxation

Minnesota Constitution Article X Taxation

  • Sec. 3. Occupation tax; ores.

  • Every person engaged in the business of mining or producing iron ore or other ores in this state shall pay to the state an occupation tax on the valuation of all ores mined or produced, which tax shall be in addition to all other taxes provided by law. The tax is due on the first day of May in the calendar year next following the mining or producing. The valuation of ore for the purpose of determining the amount of tax shall be ascertained as provided by law. Funds derived from the tax shall be used as follows: 50 percent to the state general revenue fund, 40 percent for the support of elementary and secondary schools and ten percent for the general support of the university.

Minnesota constitution article x taxation1

Minnesota Constitution Article X Taxation

Sec. 6. Taconite taxation.

Laws of Minnesota 1963, Chapter 81, relating to the taxation of taconite and semi-taconite, and facilities for the mining, production and beneficiation thereof shall not be repealed, modified or amended, nor shall any laws in conflict therewith be valid until November 4, 1989. Laws may be enacted fixing or limiting for a period not extending beyond the year 1990, the tax to be imposed on persons engaged in

  • the mining, production or beneficiation of copper,

  • (2) the mining, production or beneficiation of copper-nickel, or

  • (3) the mining, production or beneficiation of nickel.

    Taxes imposed on the mining or quarrying of taconite or semi-taconite and on the production of iron ore concentrates therefrom, which are in lieu of a tax on real or personal property, shall not be considered to be occupation, royalty, or excise taxes within the meaning of this amendment.

Taconite overview

Taconite Overview

  • Taconite – Digging into Minnesota’s past (DNR)

  • STEEL: Taconite Boom (Time April 28 1952)

  • 2 edges of technological progress: the case of Lake Superior iron mining (Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis)

Cliffs natural resources

Cliffs Natural Resources

  • An international mining and natural resources company

  • Largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America, a major supplier of direct-shipping lump and fines iron ore out of Australia and a significant producer of metallurgical coal

  • The North American business unit is comprised of six iron ore mines in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada, and two coking coal mining complexes in West Virginia and Alabama – in MichiganEmpire Mine and Tilden Mine, in Minnesota - Hibbing Taconite Northshore Mining and United Taconite

Mining in minnesota

  • The Eveleth Expansion Company was formed in Minnesota in March 1976 as a partnership between, Virginia Horn Taconite Company, Ontario Eveleth Company, Dofasco Eveleth Corporation, and ONCO Eveleth Company.

  • The partnership was created to produce and deliver taconite pellets to a mining venture called the "Expansion Project," which was also a partnership between Eveleth Expansion Company and several large American and Canadian firms such as Armco Steel, Oglebay Norton, Eveleth Taconite, and Dominion Foundries and Steel, Ltd.

  • Eveleth taconite plant closes (MPR May 14 2003)

Gender discrimination

Gender Discrimination

  • North Country

  • “It was like they'd never seen a woman before” (Guardian Feb 3, 2006)

  • Lois E. Jenson v Eveleth Taconite Co. (FindLaw) Unofficial

  • Jenson v Eveleth Taconite (Wikipedia)

Essar steel

Essar Steel

  • Essar Steel Minnesota LLC plans to set up an integrated steel plant on the Mesabi iron range in northeast Minnesota

  • The estimated cost of the project is USD 1.65 billion; the plant will have an annual capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) when completed

  • The strategy is to combine a high-quality ore body with modern and commercially proven technology and develop a vertically integrated steel mill

  • It will be the first facility in North America to include iron ore mining, ore processing, direct reduction and steelmaking on a single site

  • Taconite Mining (Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy)

  • Essar Steel breaks ground on Nashwauk plant (MPR, Sept 19, 2008)

  • Judges consider Essar Steel Minnesota project impact on environment (Steel Guru July 21, 2009)

    Essar Steel Minnesota Modifications Project - Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DNR Dec. 2011)

Mesabi nugget project

Mesabi Nugget Project

  • Steel Dynamics and Kobe Steel Ltd. have partnered to construct and operate at Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, the world's first full-scale demonstration plant using a pioneering process developed by Kobe Steel

  • This process promises to be both environmentally friendly and energy efficient, reducing emissions by more than 40 percent compared to current processes and using 30 percent less energy than integrated steelmaking

  • This plant is expected to produce high volumes of 97-percent-pure iron nuggets very cost-effectively

  • Mesabi Nugget Project (Minnesota DNR)

  • Mesabi Nugget announces delay in start-up (Minnesota Brown, May 23, 2009)

  • Mesabi Nugget taconite plant to start work soon ( Advantage Business Media Sept 29, 2009)

Mesabi nugget project1

Mesabi Nugget Project

Duluth metals limited

Duluth Metals Limited

Canadian mineral exploration Corporation which has completed a number of preliminary economic assessments on a large, potentially bulk-mineable underground copper-nickel- deposit located in the Duluth Complex in northeastern Minnesota, USA

The Nokomis Deposit is situated southeast of Ely

Consists of approximately 3,000 acres of land in a combination of State Leases, a private mineral lease and Federal Prospecting Permits

Duluth missabe and iron range railroad

Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad

  • Acquired on May 10, 2004 by the Canadian National Railway

  • when it purchased the assets of Great Lakes Transportation

  • Great Lakes Transportation LLCis a group of transportation related companies primarily consisting of rail and water carriers catering to the needs of the steel making industry centered around the Great Lakes. GLT companies include:

  • Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad

  • Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway

  • Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.

  • Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company

  • Formerly owned by the privately-owned Transtar, Inc., GLT's rail and marine holdings were purchased in 2004 by the Canadian National Railway for $380 million.

  • Great Lakes Fleet operates eight Great Lakes bulk carriers ranging from 1,004 feet long to 767 feet long.

Silver bay

Silver Bay

Silver Bay… before it was Silver Bay

History of Silver Bay

Silver bay and reserve mining

Silver Bay and Reserve Mining

Reserve mining company

Reserve Mining Company

  • History of Silver Bay

  • Northshore Mining originally operated as Reserve Mining Company, was the first taconite processing facility in North America when it opened in 1955. After Reserve filed for bankruptcy in 1986, the plant was downsized to 4.8 million tons per year capacity and reopened in 1990 as Northshore Mining Company. Now owned by Cliffs Natural Resources

    Chapter 2: The classic Reserve Mining case

  • U.S. v. Reserve Mining Co., 380 F. Supp. 11, 17 (D. Minn. 1974)

    Reserve Mining v EPA 514 F.2d 492 (8th Cir. 1975)

  • US v Reserve Mining (J Water Pollution Control Federation, 1976)

    Reserve Mining Co. v EPA

  • The legacy of the Reserve Mining case (MPR Oct 29, 2003)

  • Miles Lord calls for a halt to taconite projects (MPR Feb 23, 2005)

  • Company seeks to reopen 1970s Reserve Mining case (MPR July 31, 2007)

Financial aspects of iron mining

Financial Aspects of Iron Mining

Minnesota Constitution

Mineral Lands (Minnesota Statutes)

Mining (Minnesota Statutes)

Taxing Severed Minerals (Minnesota Statutes)

Taxing Severed Minerals (Minnesota Statutes)

Iron Ore Tax (Minnesota Statutes)

Taconite and Iron Mining (Department of Revenue)

Mining Tax Guide (Minnesota Department of Revenue)

Mineral Taxes (Department of Revenue)

Mining Tax Study (Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence)

Iron range resources

Iron Range Resources

  • State of Minnesota economic development agency located in Eveleth, Minnesota

  • Mission is to advance regional growth by stabilizing and enhancing the economy of northeastern Minnesota's Taconite Assistance Area

  • Services includebusiness development consulting and financial assistance

  • Business Financing

  • Low Interest Business Loans

  • Economic Development Grants

  • Minnesota Business Opportunities

  • Tax-Free Commercial Real Estate

  • History of Agency

Federal reserve bank of minneapolis

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Health risks of taconite mining

Health Risks of Taconite Mining

  • Do taconite fibers cause cancer? (MPR March 28, 2003)

  • Is Taconite Killing Miners? (MPR Aug 7, 2007)

  • Rule and Implementation Information for Taconite Iron Ore Processing (EPA)


  • Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study (University of Minnesota)

  • Two Taconite Minnesota Mining Operations Could Be Held Accountable for Exceeding Asbestos Exposure Limits (Asbestos Network April 23, 2008)

Ltv steel mining co

LTV Steel Mining Co.

  • May 24, 2000 LTV Steel Company, Inc., a subsidiary of The LTV Corporation announced its intention to close permanently the operations of LTV Steel Mining Company, a producer of taconite (iron ore) pellets located in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota.

  • LTV Steel Mining is no longer able to provide LTV Steel with taconite pellets of competitive quality or cost

  • LTV Steel said that its blast furnaces are experiencing lower levels of productivity and higher costs as a result of operating problems related to poor taconite pellet quality

  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation <LTV>

  • Mine Closing Rocks Iron Range (MPR)

Polymet corporation

PolyMet Corporation

  • NorthMet Project

  • PolyMet Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) proposes to develop an open pit mine and to refurbish and modify the former LTV Steel Mining taconite ore processing facility to extract copper metal and precipitates of nickel, cobalt and precious metals near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes in northeastern Minnesota

  • The DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers <Polymet> are preparing a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will satisfy both state and federal environmental review requirements

  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Minnesota DNR)

Franconia minerals corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

  • Currently focused on the development of the Birch Lake copper-nickel-platinum-palladium project - in the highly prospective Duluth complex in northeastern Minnesota

  • The recently updated report estimates an Indicated Resource of 131.2 million tonnes, plus an Inferred Resource of 37.5 million tonnes for the Birch Lake deposit (see news release of September 23, 2009)

  • Underground mining at Birch Lake will minimize the surface impact of the operation

  • Storage of mine wastes underground would further minimize the surface impact

  • Additional resources at the Birch Lake project include Inferred Resources at the Maturi deposit (see news release of September 6, 2006)

  • and at the Spruce Road deposit (see news release of December 3, 2007)

Non ferrous mining

Non-Ferrous Mining

  • MiningMinnesota - seeks to give Minnesotans the facts about non-ferrous mining efforts currently being proposed in the state. Non-ferrous mining in Minnesota

  • Non-Ferrous Mining in Minnesota (Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy)

  • Paychecks v. protection: Sulfide mining in Minnesota (Mother Nature Network)

  • Environmental group produces film on sulfide mining (MPR, Nov. 5 2009)

  • Battle Brews Over Mining Proposals for Northern Minnesota (Fox News June 6, 2009)

  • Safe Mines to Protect our Waters (Save out Sky Blue Waters)

  • Precious Waters (Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area)

Mine restoration

Mine Restoration

  • Iron Ore And Taconite Mine Reclamation And Revegetation Practices On The Mesabi Range In Northeastern Minnesota

Mining in minnesota

  • Giant’s Ridge

  • Taconite tailings find second life in road construction (MPR)

  • Historical Use of Taconite Byproducts as Construction Aggregate Materials in Minnesota: A Progress Report (Natural Resources Research Institute)

  • The next iron rush ( May 20, 2009)

  • Special focus – iron mining goes green ( July 9, 2009)

Frac sand mining

Frac Sand Mining

  • Fracking

  • Sand for Facking

  • Fracking for oil, natural gas spurs sand mining in Midwest (USA Today May 1, 2012)

  • How does fracking affect Minnesota? (MPR Dec 12 2011)

  • The Cost of Fracking and Frac Sand Mining (Environment Minnesota Sept, 2012)

  • Frac Sand Mining (MPR March, 2013)

  • FRACKING: Frac sand mining opponents call for statewide moratorium ( Feb 19, 2013)

  • Investigators: Silica Sand ( Nov 11, 2012)

  • Industrial Silica Sand (DNR Oct, 2012)

  • Frac Sand Mining (MPCA April, 2013)

  • Mapping the Movement (Food & Water Watch)

State policy network

State Policy Network

  • Goodhue County Silica Sand Mining Committee Meeting (Jan 4, 2012)

  • Fight Against Fracking - Red Wing MN (Google maps)

  • Fracking good for Minnesota, United States (Rep Glenn Gruenhaugen)

  • St. Charles, Minn., ponders future as sand mining takes off (Star Tribune Oct. 1, 2012)

  • Mining new tax opportunities in the sand (House of Representatives March 19 2013)

Mineral ownership in minnesota

Mineral ownership in Minnesota

  • Mineral Rights Ownership in Minnesota (Minnesota DNR)

  • Mineral Ownership (Minnesota DNR)

Mining in minnesota

Mining in minnesota

  • Mineral Statutes c. 93 Mineral Lands

  • Mining Taxes (House Research Jan, 2012)

  • 2004 Mining Tax Guide - Minnesota State Legislature

  • Mining Tax Guide - Minnesota State Legislature (Nov, 2010)

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