Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)
Aase, James H.
Minnesota, pp. -281 PDF (1.4 MB)
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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