The iron mining companies of Minnesota place environmental stewardship as company core values.
Before any mining commences, Minnesota iron mines work with stakeholders, local, state and federal agencies; thorough environmental reviews are conducted, and permits to mine include environmental control requirements. Compliance requirements include water use, dust control, erosion prevention, overburden stockpiles, air emission control and reclamation of the land. Low-grade iron bearing materials are separated and stockpiled for possible future use by developing technologies.
Minnesota’s iron mining and taconite companies have programs designed to meet these needs. Tree planting, seeding of tailings basins embankments and stockpiles, recirculation of water, and dust control systems are some of them.
The dimensions of mining make Minnesota’s Iron Range unique and fascinating. Thousands of tourists come to the Iron Range each year to watch mining operations, to marvel at the open pits and to tour taconite plants. Attractions along the Iron Range are being systematically developed in a program called “Iron Range Country.” So, in a way, Minnesota’s iron mining industry is part of another industry – the tourism industry. Don’t forget your camera when you visit the Iron Range.