Minnesota’s iron mining industry not only has significant economic impact in the areas in which the iron is mined. The effects of Minnesota’s iron mining industry can be felt far and wide – on local, regional, national and even international levels.
Existing Minnesota Iron Mining Operations
Iron mining helped contribute more than $3 billion to the state’s economy in 2010 and helped support more than 11,200 jobs in Minnesota alone. A 2015 Homeland Security Study found that Minnesota’s iron mines and America’s steelmaking facilities together support 11 million jobs nationwide and account for 16% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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. Much of the remainder was funneled to local communities where mining takes place.
Mining is among the largest contributors to the region’s economy, accounting for 30% of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in 2010. In comparison, the tourism industry accounted for 11% of the GRP and forestry 10%.
Each iron ore mining job, which includes good pay, health and retirement benefits, generates an additional 1.8 jobs in other industries.
Mining operations purchase goods and services from other industries, including utilities, transportation and manufacturing.
Iron in Your Future
Minnesota’s iron mining industry continues to evolve, both technically and environmentally. The ongoing evolution and improvements contribute to the industry’s current and future economic impact.