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Continuing Education.

SME 2014 Tours - Monday, April 21st

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)


Tour #1 (Bus departs from DECC Door B)
History of Minnesota Iron Ore Mining
- $75 per person
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Advance registration is required. Space is limited

This is a full day tour that will showcase the history of Iron Ore mining in northern Minnesota (both the Vermilion and the Mesabi Iron Ranges).

Participants and companions will travel from Duluth to Soudan for the first stop and tour the Soudan Underground mine, located on the Vermilion Iron Range, the state’s first iron mine and the first mine that operated underground from 1884 to 1962. The “cage” will take participants down 2,341 feet below the surface, some two and a half minutes were mining carts will take you back three-quarters of a mile down a drift to the stope (a working area of the mine). The rock is so hard and so sturdy that the mine did not require wooden beams for shoring and was considered the "Cadillac" of mining.

Before returning to the surface, participants will visit the University of Minnesota underground physics laboratory and learn about particle physics experiments that can see less than 100,000 times the cosmic radiation than on the surface, allowing sensitive searches for exotic particles like neutrinos and dark matter.

The next stop will be in Chisholm at the Minnesota Discovery Center. The museum is a 33,000 square foot facility that houses artifacts, examines mining methods, explores regional geology and depicts the life style of Range pioneers. A traditional miner’s hot lunch, pasties will be served in the museum. Following lunch, a presentation “Minnesota’s Iron Range: the Key to American Industrialization” will be given by mining historian, Pam Burmfelt.

Traveling a short distance to Hibbing, the group will stop at the Hull Rust Mahoning View located on the Mesabi Iron Range, to observe the biggest operating open pit mine in the world. Since 1895, more than 1.4 billion tons of earth has been removed and more than 800 million tons of iron has been shipped. Also, one can view today’s Hibbing Taconite’s mining activity.

After the Hull Rush Mahoning View, participants will return to Duluth.

The temperature in the Sudan Underground mine is a constant 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm dress and sturdy shoes recommended.

Leaders: Dennis Murr, Barr Engineering-Hibbing and Dan Hestetune, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)-Virginia

Tour #2 (Bus departs from DECC Door B)
Hibbing Taconite
- $50 per person
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Advance registration is required. Space is limited

This full-day iron ore mine tour will cover geology, mine operations, old natural ore-workings, a walk-through of the concentrator and pellet plant, mine plannnig, ore control, and environmental issues at a major Minnesota Iron Range facility. Participants will depart from the Decc (Door B) at 8:00 AM and return to Duluth by 5:00 PM. Refreshments, lunch, and safety gear will be provided.
Leader: Jack Croswell, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.


Contact Us
Helen Smith Stone
SME Conference Coordinator



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Last modified on 01/31/14 02:12 PM
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