Iron Mining Association

Minnesota Iron Mining

Our communities, state and nation depend on it.

The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota's (IMA) mission is to promote an iron ore industry that will provide long-term growth and prosperity for all stakeholders through profitability in a competitive, global market.

The membership is made up of the six producing iron ore mines in Northeast Minnesota that are capable of producing more than 40 million tons of taconite annually from Minnesota's iron ore deposits. The trade association is also made up of 200 vendors that supply products and services to the mining industry. The companies that operate the mines include ArcelorMittal, Cliffs Natural Resources, and U.S. Steel. Steel Dynamics' two pig iron facilities in Minnesota operate in a different market than iron ore and are idled at this time.

The iron mines directly contribute $1.8 billion to the economy of Minnesota every year in the form of purchases, wages and benefits, taxes and royalties. Subsequent business impact induced as the result of iron mining is responsible for more than an additional $1.6 billion - making the total economic impact $3 billion on the state and region's economy. Currently the mines directly employ 4,200 men and women and support an additional 13,000 employed by vendors.

Part of the direct impact to the economy includes taxes and royalties paid by the iron mining industry. Taxes payable in 2012 equaled $107.4 million. Distribution of those taxes included $49.1 million towards Minnesota's education -- $36.6 million to K-12 and $12.5 million to the University Trust Fund.

This positive effect on the economy is expected to increase with upgrades to existing mines and the addition of new iron mining initiatives.

Proposed new iron mines will increase employment not only in the mines. Businesses that build the infrastructure and supply products and services to the mines are now seeing increases in employment. Minnesota's economy will benefit from the new mines in the form of purchases, wages and benefits, taxes and royalties. Construction alone will contribute an additional $5.2 million to the state's economy.

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Iron Mining has been in Minnesota for more than a Century

The mining industry has made a profound contribution to Minnesota for more than a century. In fact, it is one of the pillar industries upon which our state has been built.

The Iron Mining Association is committed to working to ensure Minnesota keeps winning its fair share of the world market. For years, that is precisely what we have been doing—because we want our industry leaders, legislators, suppliers, workers, their families and our communities to have confidence in our mining sector and in its future.   

Growing Industry. Growing Commitment.

In Minnesota, the iron mining industry contributes to the local communities, region and state through jobs, production taxes, education programs and scholarships.


Minnesota’s Iron Mining Industry Statistics* 

Production tax $73.1 million payable 2012
Royalty payments $34.3 million payable 2012
$49 million was paid in 2012 to state education programs by Minnesota's mining industry
K – 12 education $36.6 million/year**
University of Minnesota trust funds $12.4 million/year**
*Source: UMD Labovitz School of Economics - BBER
**Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2012


Looking forward   

$94.1 million in production taxes estimated for 2013 - a $20 million increase. Production taxes are paid in lieu of property taxes. The increase is due to a three year average dropping 2009, which was marked by low production due to recession.
Estimated taxes from 2012 production, payable 2013: $94,100,000
Distribution to Range schools: $15,843,000
LGU's, counties, IRRRB and others: $78,257,000