Hull Rust Mine View
OVERLOOKING AN OPEN PIT IRON ORE MINE
Known as the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine, this open pit mine located in Hibbing, MN, was actually formed by more than 40 separate properties.
Today, views of the mine have inspired folks to coin the phrase, “Grand Canyon of the North” to describe the sight. It is a landscape that has been more than 120 years in the making.
HIBBING: KNOWN AS THE TOWN THAT MOVED
The Hull Rust Mine, one of many that sprung up in the area, began mining operations in 1896. The village of Hibbing grew up near this mine pit- too near, in fact. In 1918, all buildings in the northern section of town were mounted on steel wheels and moved two miles to the south to make room for the mine’s expansion. The move took two years and cost $16 million to complete. 185 houses and 20 businesses were relocated, and some of the larger buildings had to be cut in half during the process.
In 1901, the Oliver Iron Mining Division of U.S. Steel Corporation became the major operator of the Hull Rust Mine View. Today, Hibbing Taconite mines the area north, east and west of the Hull Rust Pit using shovels with a 41 cubic-yard capacity.
Onsite tours begin May 25, 2019.
- The combined Hull Rust Mahoning Mine and the Hibbing Taconite open pit covers 5,000 acres.
- The maximum length of the pit is 8 miles, east to west.
- The maximum width of the open pit is 3.5 miles, north to south.
- More than 1.4 billion tons of earth has been moved from the Hull Rust site, about the equivalent of digging a narrow tunnel from Minnesota through the center of the Earth, and out the side!
- The United States’ ability to prevail in World Wars I and II was greatly enhanced by Minnesota’s iron ore reserves. Steel used in munitions and equipment was largely made possible by ore mined in northern Minnesota.
- More than 800 million tons of iron ore have been shipped from the Hull Rust Mahoning complex.
- At peak production in the 1940s, as much as one-quarter of the ore mined in the U.S. came from the Hull Rust pit.
- The Mahoning Mine was the region’s first open pit mine, replacing the more dangerous underground mining methods.
- Most weeks around 11 am, Hibbing Taconite fires a blast to break iron ore and rock.
The area’s very first mining lease was awarded to Frank Hibbing in 1891. Mining operations commenced a year later.
- Iron ore mining began in 1892. The first iron ore shipments were made in 1895 from the Burt-Poole, Sellers & Mahoning Mines. Hibbing Taconite (HTC) began stripping operations in 1973. Hibbing Taconite began shipping iron ore pellets in 1977.
- Although named the Mahoning-Hull-Rust Mine, this large open pit actually consisted of over 30 separate mines both open pit and underground.
- In 1920, the Village of Hibbing was moved 2 miles south so that the underground mining operation could become open pit mining. Six blocks of Old North Hibbing became part of the mine.