A new university study finds iron ore mining has an annual economic impact of more than $3 billion in Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota Duluth study found mining, processing and shipping taconite was responsible for 11,500 jobs in the state in 2010.
The study by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics says plans to expand the traditional taconite mining and the wave of new copper mines in northeastern Minnesota could more than double the economic impact to $7.7 billion and 27,000 jobs.
The Duluth News Tribune says researchers found mining accounts for more than 5 percent of the state's economy and 30 percent of the gross regional product in northeastern Minnesota.
The study was funded by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Power and by mining associations.