The mined ore is then transported, primarily by the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway, to the ports of Two Harbors and Duluth.
At Duluth, trains of up to eighty 100-ton open cars are moved out on massive ore docks to be dumped into "lakers" of up to 60,000 tons weight for movement to steel mills in Indiana and Ohio.
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The last facility is Hibbing Taconite which operates a mine and plant between the cities of Hibbing and Chisholm.
Although Arcelor Mittal owns a majority stake in Hibbing Taconite, the operating agent is actually a minority owner, Cliffs Natural Resources.
Natural ores have an iron content of 51 to 57 per cent while the pellets contain 60 to 67 per cent. The highest point, located about 5.6 miles (9.0 km) northeast of Virginia, is Pike Mountain at 1,950 feet (590 m). Iron-bearing rocks were noted by the Minnesota State Geologist Henry H. Iron ore was discovered north of Mountain Iron, Minnesota on 16 Nov. An open pit mine began operation in 1882, and moved to underground mining by 1900.
The natural ores are mainly mixtures of hematite and goethite. The Embarrass Mountains are a small subrange of the Mesabi Range, spanning about 9 miles (14 km) through northern White Township and Hoyt Lakes in St. The mine was worked until the end of active mining in 1962, and was then donated to the State of Minnesota to use for educational purposes.
Throughout the Mesabi Range, "Mesaba" and "Missabe" spelling variations are found along with places containing "Giant" in their names.