Minnesota's eight iron mining and processing operations produce 85% of the iron ore used to make steel in the United States. Combined, they historically represent a $4 billion capital investment. They employ nearly 4,200 men and women directly in the mines who earn an average wage and benefit package worth approximately $100,000 a year.
The mines rely upon the expertise, services, and goods provided by hundreds of businesses throughout the state and beyond. Without these key partners, plants couldn't be built, rock blasted, trucks repaired or computers installed. These highly specialized businesses help keep the environment clean, the furnaces working efficiently, and the iron ore pellets flowing from the plants to North American steel mills.
The mines also rely on highly technical and up-to-date service companies that supply equipment from paperclips to 240 ton haul trucks, service companies supplying environmental engineering to energy, as well as construction and manufacturing companies. They too have great careers available that support the iron mines.