The 2018 shipping season comes to an end this week, and all indications point to a banner year for shipments of Minnesota iron.
The final ships carrying Minnesota iron until spring have left the Duluth Port for North American steelmaking facilities where the ore will be made into steel. The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie will close at midnight Tuesday.
As the 2018 season wraps up, the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA) extends its gratitude to the men and women of the shipping industry.
“Shipping is a vital component of Minnesota’s iron mining process,” IMA President Kelsey Johnson said. “The shipping industry is the critical link between Minnesota iron and the steel used throughout the United States.”
More than 80% of iron mined in the United States comes from Minnesota. There is currently only one other operating iron mine in the nation.
All signs point to a successful 2018 shipping season for Minnesota iron; the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says its iron ore shipments are outpacing the five-year average by more than 25 percent.
“The 2018 shipping season has shown considerable strength and demand for domestic iron ore,” Johnson said. “During this winter break, our mines will continue to produce iron ore inventory as we prepare for a successful 2019 shipping season.”