Taconite Mining: Technology, Taxes, & Tailings


Citizens' Committee for the Taconite Amendment #1 Records, 1963-1964
Correspondence, executive committee minutes, subject files, and ephemera documenting the administration of a citizens' group organized to secure the passage of an amendment to the Minnesota constitution.  The amendment sought to revitalize the taconite industry by changing its tax structure.   
MNHS call number: Digital Finding AidPro-taconite mining stamp sheet. 1964.

Mesabi Iron Company Records, 1914-1953
Reports, correspondence, circulars, and articles (bulk 1920-1925) detailing efforts to develop a process to create high-grade iron concentrate from taconite. There is information on the construction and operation of experimental plants in Duluth and Babbitt, the work of the University of Minnesota's Mines Experiment Station, as well as mining, processing, and marketing procedures and costs. Includes pictures and diagrams of processing equipment and plants.  
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (BC2.1/.M578).

Reserve Mining Company Records, 1969-1977
Correspondence, health studies (1975-1977), legal briefs, testimony, evidential statements,  environmental impact statements (1975), booklets (1969, 1972), and newspaper clippings related to various legal actions challenging the company's discharge of taconite tailings into Lake Superior.   
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Reserve Mining Company).

Charles H. Stoddard Papers, 1931-1973
Correspondence, speeches, articles, reports, studies, memoranda, and regulations relating largely to Stoddard's work as director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Upper Midwest-Great Lakes Area. The papers include information on taconite tailings in Lake Superior. 
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (P1099 and Stoddard, Charles Hatch in ALPHA notebooks).

Edward W. Davis Papers, 1888-1973
Correspondence, articles, reports, technical papers, histories, patents, newsletters, speeches, photographic slides and prints, and scrapbooks relating to Minnesota’s iron ore industry and to Davis’ work at the University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station, where he developed a commercial process for extracting iron ore from taconite.  Includes lake and water pollution studies; technical data on taconite production and composition; reports, maps, and related papers of the Mesabi Iron Company; information on taconite taxes; correspondence and publicity materials on the taconite amendment to Minnesota’s constitution (1964); and background materials and drafts of Davis’ book, Pioneering With Taconite (St. Paul, 1964).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid 

Oral History

Oral History Interview with Grant J. Merritt, 1988.
In 1971 Merritt was appointed as executive director of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) by Governor Wendell R. Anderson.  He resigned from the post in 1975 to serve as Governor Anderson's special assistant on the Reserve Mining issue and to return to private law practice.  Topics discussed include: Stoddard Report, issues involving Reserve Mining including Save Lake Superior Association, Taconite Amendment, taconite tailings and dumping.  
MNHS call number: Transcripts and Digital Audio 

Pamphlet Collections

Pamphlets Relating to 1964 Taconite Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution
Pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to provisions of the proposed "Taconite Amendment #1" to the Minnesota Constitution, its implications for taxation and investment in the taconite industry in Minnesota, and arguments for and against its passage.
MNHS call number: Pamphlet Collection KFM5803 1964

Pamphlets Relating to Iron Ore and Taconite Processing
Pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to the milling and processing of iron ores in general and taconite in particular. There is information on the operations of the Mesabi Mining Company, Erie Mining Company, United States Steel Corporation, and Reserve Mining Company, including the latter’s taconite processing, pelletizing, and tailings disposal; research on taconite ores and their yields after processing; beneficiation of Lake Superior iron ores; development of the taconite industry; and related topics.
MNHS call number: Pamphlet Collection TN500

Pamphlets Relating to Taxation of Mines and Mineral Resources in Minnesota
Pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to taxation of iron ore, taconite, and the iron mining industry in general in Minnesota. 
MNHS call number: Pamphlet Collection HJ4169

Government Records

Minnesota Attorney General's Reserve Mining Company Case Files, 1895-1990
Correspondence, reports, transcripts, exhibits, background files, and other legal and court documents relating to permits and litigation over the Reserve Mining Company’s waste control procedures, particularly its disposal of taconite tailings. Includes lengthy files on federal court proceedings (1973-1977), milepost 7 tailings dumpsite permit proceedings (1975-1976), permit denial appeals (1976-1977), and proceedings and studies of the Lake Superior Enforcement Conference (1969-1973), proceedings for reimbursement of filtration system costs (1977-1982), studies on health effects of asbestos, and print media coverage (1947-1990).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid 

Minnesota Department of Conservation's Hearings on Taconite Permits for Reserve Mining Company, 1947, 1960
Photocopied transcripts of hearings on the company’s application to use Lake Superior water in its taconite operations, focusing on possible water pollution resulting from the accumulation of taconite tailings in the lake. The 1960 transcript contains some handwritten corrections per Reserve Mining Company.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (P1060).

Minnesota Minerals Tax Office Miscellaneous Records, 1907-1999
Includes abstracts of mineral reports of Minnesota iron mines (1942-1980); ad valorem tax reports (1950-1999); ad valorem and equalization hearings transcripts (1907, 1914, 1937-1969); equalization and valuation correspondence (1959-1969);  minutes of the Interim Commission on Taxation of Iron Ore (1952);  Mineral Valuation Hearing Committee meeting minutes and files (1939, 1959-1991); occupation tax files and hearing tax transcripts (1921-1971);  petitions for reclassification of iron ore (1937-1967); subject files (1964-1978); photographs (undated, 1940s-1995); and maps of mine sites (1960s).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid 

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