Digging Iron Ore With Steam Shovel and Dumping on Train, Open-pit Iron Mine, Minn.

OPEN-PIT IRON MINE, MINNESOTA: Iron is the most useful and most abundant of all metals. It is seldom found in its perfect natural state. It is usually combined with oxygen and other elements and found as a constituent of rocks.

Because of its iron ore, Minnesota holds an important place among the mining states of the Union. In some places the mineral is found here in almost a pure state. This picture is taken near Hibbing, in the northern part of Minnesota. It is in what is called the Lake Superior mining region, probably the largest iron producing section of the world.

Ore was first taken from it in 1884. In less than fifty years the total output of the Lake Superior mines was 192,008,000 long tons. A single mine in Minnesota has produced 1,681,000 long tons of ore in a year. The deposit is near the surface, so that mining can be carried on here on a very large scale. Sometimes the ore is dug out by steam shovels and loaded directly on the cars, as shown in this picture. A single one of these steam shovels can load two hundred cars a day, doing the work which formerly required two hundred men. Most of the ore is shipped by rail to ports on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, great quantities going to the manufacturing centers of Pennsylvania.

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