Hull Rust Mine

Hull-Rust Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine

Useful Information

Location: Near Hibbing, Minnesota. 3rd Avenue East, north East 13th Street and north of the Greyhound Bus Museum.
Open: 15-MAY to SEP Mon-Sat 9-17, Sun 13-17.
Fee: free.
Classification: MineIron Mine
Light: n/a.
Dimension: L=8,000 m, W=3,200 m, D=180 m, Ar=8.1 km².
Guided tours: V=20,000/a [2005]
Address: Hull Rust Mine
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1895 mine opened.
1901 taken over by the Oliver Mining So..
1919 town of Hibbing relocated.
1921 relocation completed.
1965 owned by the Hibbing Taconite Company.
13-NOV-1966 listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


The mine produced during its existence 690 million tons of iron ore and 519 million tons of waste material. Together, more than 1.2 Billion tons of earth were removed. During the World Wars, it supplied 25% of all the iron ore mined in the United States.


The Hull Rust Mine near Hibbing, Minnesota, is the worlds biggest open pit mine. The mining of iron ore resulted in a total of 1.2 billion tons of rocks removed. This created a man-made Grand Canyon, which is 4.8 km long, 3.2 km wide and 180 m deep. The iron mining pit covers an area of 8.1 km².

Between 1895 and 1957, more than 30 individual mines had been opened on the ore deposit. One of the early mine owners was Frank Hibbing, a pioneer. He obtained the first lease to mine ore in the area in December 1891, and started with underground mining. But soon various open pit mines were opened, and when the pits grew, they soon grew together. Normally mining starts at the surface, and when following the ore, the miners have to go underground at some point. Here it was the other way round, the mining started with a small underground mine, but as other mines began to develop, they soon formed a mining district and then a big pit.

Frank Hibbing was the most successful of all mine owners. His company grew and soon took over other, less successful mines. The mining town was named after him. Most of the mines are no longer in operation, but Hibbing Taconite Company still continues to extract ore from the mine.

The center of the huge pit is the location where the original town of Hibbing once stood. When the mine grew, the town had to be moved. This happened in 1919, took two years, and cost USD 16 Million to relocate 185 houses and 20 businesses. The relocating of an entire city gained national attention.

The Hull Rust Mine pit was first owned by Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines, then the Oliver Mining So. took over, and later the parent company, U.S. Steel Corp. ran the mine.

The Tourist Senior Center at Hibbing operates the Hull Rust Mine View, featuring a spectacular view of the open cast mine. In the distance you can see the taconite production of Hibbing. Around the outlook is mining equipment on display, for example a 170-ton mining truck and an engine from a 240-ton mining truck.