See how this regional industry has been producing steel for over a century, and how IMA in particular is keeping a difficult industry going.
Minnesota has been mining iron ore for more than 130 years in the heart of the great north woods.
The state’s iron mines helped fuel the second industrial revolution by providing the steel that many cities and industries have used for decades. At a pivotal time in our nation’s history, Minnesota’s iron mines aided in the allied victories in both world wars by providing the iron and steel that built ships, aircraft, tanks, trucks, and submarines. Today, the iron mines continue to produce the iron and steel that help cities, communities, and industries grow and change.
Our association is made up of the 11 iron ore mines in northeast Minnesota that are capable of producing over 44 million tons of taconite annually from Minnesota’s iron ore deposits. The companies that operate these mines include ArcelorMittal, Cliffs Natural Resources, Magnetation, Steel Dynamics, and U.S. Steel.
These companies mine the ore that makes the steel that helps create the things we use every day, but they couldn’t succeed—and neither could our association—without the hundreds of vendors in the state that exist to support their facilities. Our association includes 175 of these vendors.
According to the latest study from the University of Minnesota Duluth Labovitz School of Business and Economics, during normal economic conditions, iron mining contributes more than $3 billion to Minnesota’s economy and supports more than 11,200 jobs.
Based on 2010 production levels, iron mining paid $152 million in state and local taxes in 2011. Of that, nearly $48 million supported local schools in the region. The University of Minnesota received nearly $16.3 million. Local communities where mining takes place receive much of the remainder.
Mining is among the largest contributors to the region’s economy, accounting for 30 percent of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in 2010. In comparison, the tourism industry accounted for 11 percent of the GRP and forestry 10 percent.
Each iron ore mining job, which includes good pay and health and retirement benefits, generates an additional 1.8 jobs in other industries.
The IMA’s mission is to promote the industry by sharing facts like these to provide long-term growth and prosperity for all stakeholders through profitability in a competitive, global market.
All of our members are currently facing unprecedented global pressures as the world’s largest foreign iron ore mining companies continue to expand production to control the market and drive other countries’ iron mines out of business.
In addition, foreign steel is being “dumped” in the United States at some of the highest levels in recent history—at prices well below the cost to produce the steel in that country.
Challenges are not new to this Minnesota industry. Our people have been a leader in this global industry ever since their transformation of the mining process—from mining the red ore that was depleted by both world wars to the taconite mines of today.
Minnesota’s iron mining industry has a history rich in hard work that will continue to fuel new processes, innovations, and expansions.
To learn more, dig deeper at www.taconite.org
A healthy Minnesota iron mining industry
Promote an iron ore industry that will provide long-term growth and prosperity for all stakeholders through profitability in a competitive, global market.
The IMA will accomplish this mission by working with stakeholders to:
- Promote a stable investment environment.
- Promote environmental stewardship.
- Promote a positive public image of this vital, long-term, high-tech industry.
- Work with educators to ensure a trained and educated workforce.
- Strengthen and expand the association’s base of support
- Promote proactive involvement in public policies that support the industry.
- Support the social and economic well being of the communities in which we live.