Mining has long been a cornerstone of the northeast Minnesota and is its largest contributor to the gross regional product. The region sits atop one of the United States’ richest deposits of minerals spanning the Mesabi Range, Duluth Complex, and other neighboring areas. The region’s six taconite mines form the foundation of the American steelmaking industry and have played a vital role in the country’s history. Mining employment also creates significant economic impacts in related industries such as transportation and construction.

This is a large cluster with massive output when operating at full capacity, contributing $3.4 billion to the state and regional economies. A loyal, skilled workforce is a key asset in this sector with employee turnover at only 2.6%. As a result of this industry cluster, the region has one of the most technically skilled workforces in the nation. Mining jobs provide strong living wage jobs to the region. Potential non-ferrous mining operations proposed in the region, most notably PolyMet in Hoyt Lakes and Twin Metals near Ely, could usher in a new era of mining in Minnesota and create new jobs for the region.

Iron Ore Mining

Precious Metals Exploration