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Title: Open Pit Mining on the Iron Range
Type: Book
Date: 1931
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: This is a section from a book that examined open pit mining on the Mesabi Iron Range.


The Primacy of the Mesabi, both regionally and nationally, is attributable Explained by. to three factors: the abundance and purity of its ores; the manner their occurrence; and its location, close to the Great Lakes. The last-named advantage it shares with the other Lake Superior ranges. If it were possible to value separately the different factors, this, with all that it connotes, Means. would probably stand first. There are, by way of illustration, iron ore deposits in Brazil that in size dwarf the Mesabi, and in grade are much richer. Yet they have so far remained undeveloped, being from 300 to 400 miles distant from the coast.

To transport a ton of ore from the Mesabi to Pittsburgh costs $3.02. The rail haul in the two stages is about 230 miles; the lake haul, about 850. The charge for the former is $2.19, for the latter, including unloading, 83 cents. While no detailed figures are available, it is probable that the lake carrier earns as much from its 83 cents as the rail carriers (under present conditions) from their $2.19.