Minnesota has a long and proud history of iron mining, dating back over 140 years. Iron Range communities were built around the mines, creating family-sustaining jobs for Minnesotans and new immigrants and supporting our nation’s growing dependence on steel. Minnesota’s iron mining story is one of innovation and adaptation. It’s a story that deserves to be told and understood. From creating processes for separating iron ore from taconite and producing DR-grade pellets with high iron ore content to responding to evolving economic conditions, modern mining in Minnesota plays a role in cleaner steelmaking and building a better future. It’s part of our history and part of our future. The Iron Mining Association highly recommends exploring these educational resources from the St. Louis County Historical Society and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota Minds. Supported by Minnesota Mines.

Iron mining impacts our daily lives, and the industry’s continued growth and success have tangible impacts on our state’s future. Minnesota is an incredible place, full of beautiful landscapes, great cities, friendly people and a high-quality public education system. Every year, Minnesota’s public schools receive millions of dollars in funding from the state’s Permanent School Fund.

The Fund generates revenue through School Trust Lands, which are managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These lands are dedicated to the management of minerals, forests and real estate—rents and royalties from iron ore mining and taconite leases contribute nearly 70% of the Fund’s annual revenue.

The 2023/2024 school year will see a record $48.9 million dollars distributed across Minnesota’s nearly 850K students at 329 public school districts and 181 academies and charter schools.

These annual distributions provide necessary funding for supplies, curriculum, teacher salaries, extracurriculars, facilities maintenance, and more. Minnesota’s iron mining industry is proud to contribute to the future of our state by supporting a great education for the next generation.