Month: May 2017

Why We Mine

You may know that we mine in Minnesota, but do you know why?

Minnesota’s iron mines account for 80% of “first pour” steel in the United States.1

“First pour” is used to describe steel the first time it’s been made. This is an important denotation to make, because believe it or not, steel is the most recycled material in the world.2

More steel is recycled each year than aluminum, paper, glass, and plastic combined, and the recycling rate for steel is 86%. This recycling rate is a source of pride for America’s iron and steel industry, as the high recycling rate saves enough energy to power 20 million homes for one year.3

Steel can be continually recycled with no degradation. While this is an amazing property of the metal, it also means many steel products remain in service for decades at a time, though the demand for steel around the world continues to grow. For this reason, even while two out of every three tons of new steel are produced from old steel, it is still necessary to mine iron ore for “first pour” steel.4

Recycled and “first pour” steel alike are used to make the vehicles you drive, appliances you use, and infrastructure you see every day – not to mention machines used on a larger scale for agriculture, construction, and defense nationwide and abroad. Take a moment to think about all the products you use every day that wouldn’t be available without the materials we must recycle and mine. Makes you think – doesn’t it?

1 http://minnesotairon.org/10-things-you-use-every-day-made-from-minnesota-iron/
2 http://www.steel.org/about-aisi/industry-profile.aspx
3 http://www.steel.org/about-aisi/industry-profile.aspx
4 http://www.steel.org/sustainability/steel-recycling.aspx