Mining Features

“Our mascot and our friend”

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Rocky Taconite statue is a unique tribute to iron mining


SILVER BAY — In a state with plentiful Paul Bunyans, Snoopy sculptures, and giant fish, a bulbous oddity near Lake Superior has been uniquely embraced by locals and visitors alike. Since 1964, Rocky Taconite has symbolized Silver Bay, a community that owes its existence to the mining industry. Ruth Koepke has lived in Silver Bay since the town was first […]

“Minnesotans treasure their natural resources”

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Two women forecast bright future for mining industry


Starting a new job can be a mix of challenging and exciting. According to two local women—who have recently started their new jobs in the mining industry—a great group of people have been helpful in making the start of their new jobs successful. “I’ve been in this role for a month and a half, and it has been a whirlwind!” […]

Hunting for medallions and finding friends

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Scuba Palooza returns to the depths of Lake Ore-Be-Gone


GILBERT — What delights lurk below the calm waters of Lake Ore-Be- Gone? For some, it’s a sunken helicopter. For others, it’s a school of trout. Or perhaps it’s the jumble of bicycles collected below the cliffs. Scuba divers by the score will be exploring these attractions and more during this weekend’s “Scuba Palooza,” a long-time diving event organized by […]

Canisteo Pit receives $710,000 in funding for contingency pumping

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The Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board approved on August 15 $710,000 for contingency pumping at the Canisteo Pit in Itasca County. The pumping will begin on or before October 1 to prevent water from overtopping the pit until a permanent outlet solution is in place. A permanent solution will require legislative funding. Water levels in the Canisteo Pit have […]

United States Steel Foundation awards scholarships to local students

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United States Steel Corporation (U. S. Steel) has announced the awarding of college scholarships to 20 students across the country. All the recipients are children of U. S. Steel employees. The scholarships are funded by the United States Steel Foundation. Since 1995, the U. S. Steel Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4 million to more than 450 children of […]

Practicing for a rescue attempt in the region’s mine pits

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Rescue Squad puts “knees in the breeze” for training


SOUDAN — Twenty-two members of the St. Louis County Rescue Squad participated in a day of rope rescue training at the Soudan Mine. The 91-member, all-volunteer unit specializes in wilderness search and rescue (SAR), water rescue and recovery, and first aid and public safety. The July 23 exercise is an annual event, offering newer members the opportunity to practice and […]

Stocking fish in region’s mine pits

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There are numerous mine pit lakes across northeastern Minnesota. All of them are former iron mines that over time naturally filled with water. The mine pits at one time produced iron ore, which was turned into steel that helped build America. The bodies of water are up to hundreds of feet deep and bordered by nearly all solid rock. The […]

Mineland Vision Partnership launches new website

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Mineland Vision Partnership (MVP) is a regional collaboration of mining, business, government, and community interests who represent Minnesota’s Iron Range. The group works to develop opportunities for minescapes and preserve lands to sustain current and future mining. MVP has developed a new website that showcases some of the region’s mineland reclamation projects: Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Coleraine Fish stocking mine […]

Federal grant infuses iron ore research

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NRRI builds better pellets for direct reduced iron process


COLERAINE — Funding from the U.S. Department of Energy kicked an idling Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) project into full steam ahead. With $2.1 million from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and matching funds of $530,000 from NRRI that leverages previous state appropriations, NRRI metallurgical engineers can research and improve the direct reduced iron process for […]

New tour offered at Soudan Mine

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SOUDAN — Visitors to Lake Vermilion Soudan Underground Mine State Park can learn about the rich history of Minnesota’s first iron ore mine in a new surface tour that will be offered this summer. Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day, historical interpreters will be available to lead visitors on a one-and-a-half-hour tour around the mine complex, highlighting […]


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