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Hull Rust Mine -- the man-made "Grand Canyon of the North"

The world's largest operating open pit iron ore mine opened in 1895 -- is more than three miles long, two miles wide and 600 feet deep. Hull Rust mine is located outside of Hibbing, Minnesota in an area known as the Mesabi Iron Range, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over 1.4 billion tons of overburden has been removed since 1985 on it's 2200 acres of land, and over 800 million ton of taconite ore has been extracted. Enough earth has been removed had it been done horizontally -- a hole deep enough to pass through the earth and come out the other side would have been dug.

During WWII almost 1/4th of all the ore mined in the U.S.A. came from this mine. Many mining innovations took place at this mine over the years including the steam shovel's introduction. The largest steam shovel at this mine was so large, it sat on two tracks, and could load an ore car with one single scoop. From the north end of the Hull Rust mine you can view the Laurentian Divide -- the junction of small continental plates that divide the three drainage systems -- it is the only divide of its kind in the U.S.

A point of interest -- a miner at Hull Rust Mine invented the first bus line, you may have heard of it, it's known today as the Greyhound bus line.

The Hull Rust Mine View memorial is open to the public and provides history of mining, mining exhibits, a view of the yawning pit and a walking trail.

source:
http://www.irontrail.org/Attractions/mining/Hull+Rust+Mahoning+Mine+View

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