North Shore Mining 

Formerly called Reserve Mining, North Shore Mining is a company that mines iron ore near Babbit MN and ships the ore by rail to the processing plant at Silver Bay on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The above link will take you to the company's website where they invite you to stop by for a tour, either a vitrual one on the web or schedule a tour in person at their plant.

The iron ore arrives at the plant by rail car. The train and tracks are owned by the mine company. The rail cars are emptied, two at a time, by use of a special coupling that allows the cars to rotate. The cars are brought into the dumping facility and are grabbed by a machine that rotates the cars to empty the ore in the photos below. The time to empty cars is greatly reduced by the rotating cupling because the cars don't have to be disconnected to be emptied.

The ore is dropped into large rotating drums that crush it into a fine powder in the first step to producing the taconite pellets that are eventually shipped to the steel making mills on the Great Lakes or across the world.


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