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mining in northern minnesota

polymet | the next generation of mining in minnesota

polymet | the next generation of mining in minnesota

Our copper-nickel mine, the NorthMet project, is modern, safe and brimming with opportunity for the state of Minnesota. Located within the established Mesabi Iron Range mining district, the NorthMet project will produce copper, nickel, cobalt and other precious metals we need to drive a sustainable future.

Weve prepared for over a decade, and we are ready to do this project right. Minnesota is our home. We care deeply about our people, our communities and our environment. As environmental stewards, we will use modern mining techniques to protect Minnesotas natural resources for years to come.

We are proud to invest in students who excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including those who may pursue careers in mining. We recently awarded our annual Mining for Excellence scholarships. And, in a first for PolyMet, we have hired a former scholarship recipient for a summer internship. Again this year, we faced challenging decisions, since we receivedRead More

a guide to northern minnesota's mining towns | gonomad travel

a guide to northern minnesota's mining towns | gonomad travel

A landscape that was scraped flat by thousands of years of crawling ice sheets has, in just one century of human activity, been transformed from pine forests and shallow lakes into a region of deep lakespits dug by human beings to remove iron oreand hills built high from discarded rocks. This is a fascinating region to explore and is easily accessible from Grand Rapids.

The Minnesota Discovery Center (1005 Discovery Dr.; 218.254.7959) is a good place to get an overview of the history of mining in the Iron Range. Think of it as a mining theme park, complete with mini-golf, an amphitheater, a 19th-century village, museum, and archives.

The museum has a number of good displays, including the Hall of Geology with lots of cool rocks and lively (but creepy) displays about the early immigrants who worked in the mines 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Across the highway from the Minnesota Discovery Center, the Iron Ore Miner Statue (US Highway 169 across from the Minnesota Discovery Center) was dedicated in 1981 in memory of those who labored in the mines.

At 81 feet tall, it is the third tallest free-standing sculpture in the US (behind the Arch and the Statue of Liberty). Sculptor Jack Anderson created the massive artwork from Corten steel and covered it with brass, copper, and bronze. Each of the miners boots weighs 220 pounds.

The Minnesota Mining Museum (701 W. Lake St.; 218.254.5543) has an impressive collection of large mining equipment like the 1910-era Atlantic Steam Shovel; check out the railroad diorama in the depot crafted by renowned artist Francis L. Jaques. The museum is in the center of town.

You can get dramatic views of that expanding mine from the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine View (1202 E. Howard St.; 218.262.4900), one of the largest operating open-pit mines in the world. The pit is 3 miles long by 1 miles wide and as deep as 535 feet.

Views from the parking lot are free and accessible during daylight hours. When the visitor center is open, you can wander around the grounds and pose for photos next to and inside the giant mining trucks and shovels.

One highlight is the collection of restored buses from different eras. If you have any memories of long-distance bus travelas I dothis place will stir up some nostalgia, like the time I took a long bus trip to bowling camp, and the folks sitting behind me were nearly kicked off for smoking marijuana. Unfortunately, Greyhound no longer serves the city of its birth.

Artists Gareth Andrews and Byron Kesanen crafted The Sawyer (Rotary Park; 4th St. N at 6th Ave. W) from Corten steel, a material that takes on a rust color as it ages. The sculpture depicts a sawyer sharpening an impressive blade.

Minnesotas state bird is the loon, and the biggest one youll ever see sits in the middle of Silver Lake (9th Ave. W across from Mesabi Range College). Ginny the Loon is some 21-feet long and calls the lake home when its not frozen.

Fans of frozen sports will want to detour to Eveleth to tour the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum (801 Hat Trick Ave.; 218.744.5167), which is chock full of memorabilia on the sport in the US. As long as youre here, you should also stop for a photo op at The Big Stick & Puck (Grant Ave. at Monroe St.), the worlds largest hockey stick, quite possibly used by Paul Bunyan.

In summer, the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm (218.254.7959) leads tours of the Hibbing Taconite mine. Tours run on Thursdays between late June and early August and leave promptly at 1 p.m.; they last about 2 hours and offer a unique opportunity to visit a working mine. You can call ahead and make a reservation, which you should; they are quite popular.

Volunteers at Hill Annex Mine State Park at Calumet (880 Gary St.) takes folks on tours of the former open-pit iron ore mine that operated from 1912-1978. Call the park for current times and to make a reservation (218.247.7215). The 90-minute tours focus either on fossil hunting or the historic mine.

Bob Dylan grew up in Hibbing, graduating from Hibbing High School in 1959 when he was still known as Bobby Zimmerman. You can pick up a brochure with a walking tour of Dylan sites at the Hibbing Public Library (2020 5th Ave. E; 218.362.5959) or download one at http://www.hibbing.mn.us/ (search for Dylan and youll find a link to the tour).

While in Hibbing, its worth a little extra time to tour the magnificent Hibbing High School (800 E. 21st St.). Mining companies paid some $4 million in 1923 to build the grand structure, largely as payback to the families who were forced to relocate from North Hibbing to make way for a new mine. The 1,805-seat auditorium is unbelievably beautiful for a high school.

Go in the main entrance and up to the office (upstairs and on the left) to pick up a brochure and to let them know youre not a creep who likes to wander around high schools. During the school year, you can visit the building between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.; in summer, look for guided tours.

Festivals. I had a great time at Hibbings Dylan Days but, alas, that event shut down and the party has shifted to Duluth and is now called Dylan Fest. It still takes place in late May and has held onto the events I really enjoyed, like the singer/songwriter contest where musicians must play one Dylan cover and one original song.

Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Hes driven over 120,000 miles along the Great River Road, hiked to the tops of bluffs, paddled on the Mississippi River in kayaks and canoes, and floated in luxury for a few days as a guest lecturer on the American Queen.

He is the author of the Mississippi Valley Traveler guides; The Mississippi Valley Traveler Headwaters Region Guide: Along the Upper Mississippi River from Itasca State Park to the suburbs of the Twin Cities is the fourth book in the series. He also writes mysteries set in places along the Mississippi River.

In Rock Island Lines, the first book in the series, troubled travel writer Frank Dodge fights to prove his innocence when the descendent of a famous gangster, a man he wanted to interview, was found dead in the Mississippi River. You can follow Klinkenbergs work at MississippiValleyTraveler.com, as well as the usual social networking sites.

Klinkenberg grew up in the Midwest where he developed wanderlust at an early age, thanks in part to a family that took long summer road trips and couldnt seem to settle in one place for more than a couple of years.

After finishing high school in southern Minnesota, he set aside his ambitions to become a professional bowler and went to college in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he discovered the joys of living in a Mississippi River town. He lives in St. Louis with his husband, John, and a parrot, Ra.

12 rare photos that give a glimpse of minnesota's mining history

12 rare photos that give a glimpse of minnesota's mining history

From long before official statehood in 1858 and up to the present day, Minnesota has a rich history. Our state is shaped by many different people and events from the Native American peoples who first inhabited the land, to the first arrival of French fur traders in the 1600s, to the latest presidential election.

And in addition to people and events, Minnesota has also been shaped by industry. Milling along the Mississippi River played an enormous role in the early history of Minneapolis, just as Minnesotas 17 Fortune 500 companies play their part today. And up north, Minnesotas mining left its mark on the Arrowhead region. These 12 rare photos of Minnesotas mining history will give you a glimpse of life on the Iron Range.

These photos are a small glimpse of what life was like in the early days of Minnesotas mining industry, but did you know mining still continues on the Iron Range to this day? Check out this article about an enormous working mine in Minnesota that you can still visit today.

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