Hull–Rust–Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine

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Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine
Hull–Rust–Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine.jpg
Hull–Rust–Mahoning Mine from an overlook
Nearest city Hibbing, Minnesota
Coordinates 47°27′00″N 92°57′00″W / 47.45000°N 92.95000°W / 47.45000; -92.95000Coordinates: 47°27′00″N 92°57′00″W / 47.45000°N 92.95000°W / 47.45000; -92.95000
Built 1893–1894
NRHP Reference # 66000904[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 13, 1966[1]
Designated NHL November 13, 1966

The Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine in Hibbing, Minnesota, United States, is one of the largest open pit iron mines in the world, with a 1.5 by 3.5 mile footprint and depths up to 600 feet. The mine, located in the Mesabi Range, supplied as much as one-fourth of all the iron ore mined in the United States during its peak production during World War I and World War II.[2]

A miner poses near the edge of the pit. The pit is more than three miles (5 km) long, two miles (3 km) wide and 535 feet (163 m) deep.

This area of the Mesabi Range was explored in 1893–1894, shortly after the Mountain Iron mine was established in 1892. The early development was as an underground mine, but open pit mining soon proved to be a better choice because of the shallow nature of the ore deposits. The many smaller open pit mines developed in the area soon merged into one large mine. The growth of the mine even resulted in the town of Hibbing being relocated to accommodate expansion. The move started in 1919 and took two years to complete at a cost of $16,000,000. 185 houses and 20 businesses were moved, and some of the larger buildings had to be cut in half for the move. Only a few uninhabited remnants of the original townsite are left near an observational lookout at the edge of the mine.

Over 519 million tons of waste material and 690 million tons of iron ore have been removed from the mine area since ore shipments began in 1895. The mine was listed as a National Historic Landmark, and added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1966. The mine is still operated today by the Hibbing Taconite Company, and iron ore "taconite" pellets are produced at the rate of 8.2 million tons annually (not counting tailings, waste rock, or overburden).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Charles Snell (June 1, 1966). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 6 images PDF (694 KB)

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