National Geographic : 1949 Sep
At Hibbing the World's Largest Open-pit Iron Mine Engulfs More and More of the Town Ever - encroaching excavations bite at North Hibbing (upper right), much of which has long since been bought and swallowed up. Doomed houses near the brink are boarded up and de serted. Many have been moved bodily to make way for the steam shovels. Only from high in the air can the magnitude of the Hull-Rust Mahoning Mine be fully appreci ated. Not even this photograph from 10,000 feet includes it all, though it shows two and a half square miles of the mighty maze. Since stripping started in 1895, more material has been moved here than was originally excavated in building the Panama Canal. Close to half a billion tons of ore have been hauled out on the mine's 55 miles of railroad track. To get out this ore, three and a half million tons of waste had to be removed. At its greatest depth, the mighty pit is deeper than the height of the Capitol dome in Washington, D. C. It is three and a quarter miles long, and at one point a mile across. Open-pit mines are a tremen dous asset because in time of war the output can be greatly ex panded simply by putting more shovels to work. The Hibbing mine, on the Mesabi Range, is operated by the Oliver Iron Min ing Company, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. Aero Service Corp.