To extract iron from the ground, Taconite rocks are detonated using explosives, due to the rigidity and hardness of this type of rock. The taconite is a new sedimentary rock, a variety of iron formations.
Edward Wilson Davis May 8, 1888 – December 3, 1973 was an American engineer and inventor famous for pioneering early research into taconite. As a researcher at the University of Minnesota , Davis developed an engineering process to economically extract iron ore from hard taconite rocks, making taconite valuable as iron ore for the iron and steel industries.
In the early 1900’s, University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station Professor E.W. Davis found a way to extract the iron from the taconite rock and form a concentrate. While the first commercial taconite pellets weren’t produced until 1955, the birth of the taconite industry occurred in 1922 with the construction of a taconite processing plant in Babbitt.
By 1955, the Reserve Mining Company complex was built to extract iron from taconite. A new town, Silver Bay, was constructed to support it. For every ton of iron ore produced, however, two tons of waste material was left over. The Reserve Mining Company dumped the waste material, called tailings, into Lake Superior.
4. Separate iron from taconite using a magnet. Dump the rest of the rock into a tailings bin. 5. Roll the concentrate wet taconite powder with clay inside long rotating cylinders. Roll into small pellets. After they dry, heat until they are white hot. They will be taconite
But without Davis’s dogged persistence, the Iron Range would not, truly could not, have continued to supply U.S. steel producers with iron ore all these decades to come. It was Davis and his research team, with financial support from the state and the University, that allowed the Iron Range to transition their product from unprocessed lean ores to taconite pellets.
Taconite is a low-grade iron ore. When the high-grade natural iron ore was plentiful, taconite was considered a waste rock and not used. But as the supply of high-grade natural ore decreased, industry began to view taconite as a resource. Dr. E.W. Davis of the ...
Dr. E. W. Davis, considered the “father of taconite,” led the successful search for a process to extract high-grade iron ore from extremely hard taconite rock. He served as superintendent and director of the University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station.
From blasting to crushing to separation – more than 85% of the iron mined in the United States is mined in northeastern Minnesota to make our nation’s steel. Blasting Taconite is a very hard rock. Using explosives, the taconite is blasted into small pieces.