Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), August 22, 1895, p. 10

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10 IRON ORE PRODUCTION IN 1894. Advance sheets of the report by Mr, John Birkinbine on the iron ores of the United States, contributed to the “Mineral Resources’, volume 1895, give the following relative to the production during the past year. The record of iron ore production in the year 1894, amounting to 11,879,679 gross tons, shows a slight ad- vance (about 2% per cent) over the quantity mined in 1893, but notwithstanding this the year 1894 can prob- ably be recorded as the most unsatisfactory in the his- tory of iron oré mining in the United States. The re- turns for 1893 indicated the smallest output from domes- tic iron ore mines since statistics have been collected by the United States Geological Survey. The total reported valuation of the 11,879,679 gross tons-of iron ore produced in the year 1894 was $13,577,- 325, or an average of $1.14 per ton, showing a decrease from the low price of 1893 ($1.66 per ton) of 52 cents, or 31,33 per cent. The greatest falling off in price was apparently in those states embraced in the Lake Supe- rior region, the iron ore mined in Michigan being stated to be worth on an average $1 32, that in Minnesota 73 cents, and that in Wisconsin 92 cents per ton in 1894, as against $1.84, $1.55 and $1.33 in 1893, a decrease of 28.26 per cent, 52 90 per cent and 30.83 per cent respectively. The decline in values of Minnesota ores is especially remarkable, the price at the mines being less than one- half of what was reported in 1893. This is due to the cheap mining on the Mesabi range. and to the fact that in order to obtain a foothold in the market ‘it was thought wise to sell these comparatively little known ores at lower prices than the standard ores. While the reported value of Vermillion range iron ore of Minne- sota is lower than in 1893, it is considerably higher than that mined on the Mesabi range in the same state. In Alabama the average value of the iron ore in 1894 was slightly less than in 1893, being 83 cents per ton, against 86 cents in the previous year, a loss of but 3 cents, or 3.49 per cent. There is, however, more atten- tion being paid to the grading of ore which is used in the furnaces, and it is probable that the ores smelted in 1894 were better prepared than in previous years. Twenty-four states and territories produced 11,879,- 679 gross tons of iron ore during the year 1894, of which 9,347,434 tons, or 78.68 per cent, were red hematite; 1,472,748 tons, or 12.40 per cent, were*brown hematite; 972,219 tons or 8.18 per cent, were magnetite; and the balance, 0.74 per cent, was carbonate ore. Pennsvlyania, New York and Colorado are the only states which reported mining the four classes of iron ore in 1894; Virginia and West Virginia, Kentucky and the Western States furnished three kinds; Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri two kinds; the balance of the states are credited with one kind of ore only. In some cases ad- mixtures of the ores above mentioned were mined but not reported separately. In 1894 there were produced 14,804 tons of magnetically concentrated ore, and 72,312 gross tons of jigged and hand-sorted ore. The prevalence of red hematite ores in the Lake Su- perior region with a high percentage of iron has per- mitted mining and conveying them long distances with the exceptional appliances in use, while an abundance of less desirable red hematite close to fuel in Alabama and Tennessee has assisted in keeping this class of ore in favor. From some mines brown and red hematite, or red hematite and magnetite, or carbonate and brown hema- tite ores are obtained out of the same workings, the ex- tent to which ores are hydrated or weathered tranfer- ring them from one class to another; or different classes of oré are found intermixed or alternating in the same deposit. Wherever possible an attempt has been made in the statistical review to separate into classes the dif- ferent ores coming from the same workings, but in some instances this was impracticable, and the product is credited to the predominating character of ore mined. The aggregate production by states in 1894 was as follows: States, Gros; 'tons. Michigan......... se ey a Be So as Seger a ae 4,419,074 IRIE AOD eto ae ccna Cail ad ginibig.clt's sisisiels, ¢ Sons's © spienis stb ¢.$\0.0% » 2.968 463 PROAMED ee, cere eves cerctis recc~ekeecs vce: ee es ee LaOO BG: Virginia anc West Virginia,,... , 600 562 Pennsylvania pe 532,087 Wisconsin. , 347 601 ITCRA DRG ooo (ks nisms claGlars vib vine ve biae clewye's Sein pie vsinpiees 292 831 New Jersey BF iG rar EA PeiE a LES. cali obi ted wuter cbse 277.483 Roplorado. ee ie ee RRs A Siero. CAPELLA woe sive sip sacle 9 90isp* 250,199 DUGWPROR Is eee A eticeae csnset sete ree aerssevessscscescssacnsesis 242,759 Georgia a0S palaeth Cpe ling: Gb 6 8 Sikh call dc dacs pite'vpra bag)

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