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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

Aase, James H.
Minnesota,   pp. [270]-281 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 271

I4NESOTA—1990  271THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF MINNESOTA 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the U.S. Bureau of Mines~ U.S. 
Department of the Interior, and the Minnesota Geological and Natural History
Survey for collecting information on all nonfued minerals. 
By James H. Aase' 
Nonfuel mineral production in Minnesota was valued at almost $1.5 billion
in 1990, a 7 % increase over that of the previous year and less than 1 %
above the average for the decade of the 1980's. Advances in both quantity
and value were recorded for more than onehalf of the commodities produced
compared with 1989 figures. 
Production came from sites in 80 of the State's 87 counties. St. Louis County
was the leading county in terms of value for nonfuel mineral production,
contributing about 84 % of the State's total. 
The State ranked sixth nationwide in value of nonfuel mineral production,
contributing 4.4 % of the U.S. total. 
Iron ore, the principal commodity produced in the metallic sector, accounted
for almost $9 out of every $10 of the State's total nonfuel mineral value
and was credited for 91 % of the $94 million increase over that of the previous
year. 
Leading the nonmetallic commodities in value was construction sand and gravel,
followed by crushed stone. Collectively, these two commodities contributed
about 7 % of the State's total nonfuel mineral production value. 
Among the mineral commodities produced in Minnesota during the year, the
quantity of iron ore produced ranked 1st among 9 States reporting production;
peat, 3d of 22; construction sand and gravel, 6th of 50; dimension stone,
7th of 34; industrial sand, 10th of 38; lime, 24th of 32; crushed stone,
30th of 49; and clay, 32d of 44. 
ThENDS AND 
DEVELOPMENTS 
Inland Steel Mining Co. began construction on a $20 million project to develop
an open pit taconite mine near Gilbert, St. Louis County. Crude ore from
the new Laurentian Taconite Mine 
will be transported by truck over a 6-mile haul road to the company's Minorca
taconite processing plant in Vir~ginia.~ Initial production from the new
mine was targeted for early 1991, and the mine was to be phased in with the
crude ore currently being produced at Inland's Minorca pit. Ore reserves
at Minorca are expected to be exhausted by 1995. The Laurentian Mine and
adjoining properties in the area were estimated to contain a 
40-year supply of crude taconite for the company's Minorca processing plant.
Less than 6 months after finalizing its purchase of the taconite operations
of the former Reserve Mining Co. , Cyprus Northshore Mining Corp. restarted
idle operations at Babbitt and Silver Bay. The first shipment of taconite
pellets was made in mid-April. Reserve closed its mine and processing plant
in 19 86. Cyprus bought the operation in bankruptcy court for $52 million
in mid1989. The company reportedly spent an 
TABLE 1 
NONFUEL MINERAL PRODUCTION IN MINNESOTA' 
Mineral 
1988 
1989 
1990 
. 
Quantlty 
Value 
(thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
Gemstones 
NA 
40,735 
29 
33,769 
' 8,300 
' 45,000 
XX 
x.ic 
$40 
1,134,539 
1,414 
72,678 
' 28,200 
' 13,000 
18,015 
1,267,886 
NA 
41,044 
' 33 
"33,700 
8,760 
44,605 
XX 
XX 
$42 
rl,223,909 
1,415 
' 82,600 
30,218 
16,031 
22,022 
1,376,237 
NA 
45,139 
48 
33,869 
' 9,100 
' 60,195 
xx 
XX 
$46 
1,308,920 
2,972 
77,502 
' 31,900 
' 20,836 
27,746 
1,469,922 
ii~n ore thousand metric tons 
Peat thousand short tons 
Sand and gravel (construction) do. 
Stone: 
Crushed do. 
Dimension short tons 
ombined value of clays (common, kaolin), lime, ~nd sand and gravel (industrial)
Total 
Estimated. ' Revised NA Not available. XX Not applicable. Production as measured
by talon shipments, sales, or marketable production 
(incitaiing ones 
tnnption 
by producers). 
. 


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