Hiring begins - Local ore mine re-opens

Fifty years ago, on April 1, 1967 Ely’s Pioneer Mine ceased operations.

That is about to change. Speaking from Cabo Cañaveral, La Florida, Juan Seliga, C.E.O. of Ely Greenstone P.A. announced yesterday, “On the eve of this historic day the Pioneer Iron Ore Mine in Ely is set to open again. Our research shows that thousands of tons of valuable ore remain in this ore body alongside what is now known as Miners Lake.

Seliga, working with his local corporate board (Bill Erzar, Doug Poplar, Dale Whiting and Tim Richards), said that projects being considered include: “the sinking of a new 32’ X 18’ shaft down to 39th level just north of Baudek’s homestead, a new railroad to connect up with Northshore Mining’s existing road, utilizing the same shipping docks.
“The first ore car is on the rails ready to ship and we will be pumping out Miners Lake. It formed after the mine closed 50 years ago when pumping underground mine water into Shagawa Lake to the north was halted.” Cooperation is expected from the MN-DNR about harvesting the large trout now in Miners Lake.
Mine Captain S. Rolando, headquartered in Ely, said that hiring would begin soon and noted the need for former miners and all available persons to step up and train for the busy summer ahead at the mine. “While underground, the mine stays at a fairly even 55 degrees summer and winter. The work planned starting Memorial Day will be on the surface at the Shaft House and will vary from 50 to 80 degrees.”
According to Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, “The City of Ely, which owns the mine location, welcomes the generous investment already made by Ely Greenstone P.A. and its backers, and look forward to this new development.
“To see the city again at full employment with restaurants and other businesses re-opening, has long been a dream.”
The tailings from the former iron ore mines are now the foundation for Grand Ely Lodge, a popular meeting place for those who enjoy the lofty view, and this news should serve to excite many in the area.”
Gerald Tyler, Up North Job’s Chairman, said that the Pioneer mine re-opening is great news. “It will spur economic development and result in job growth in the Ely area. The royalty taxes the mining company will pay on each ton of ore extracted will provide a much needed funding source to benefit Ely School District 696. Tyler has invited Governor Mark Dayton and State Auditor Becky Otto to attend the future grand opening, but so far has not heard whether they will appear in Ely.
While there was some concern about the actual date of the announcement, former executive director of the Ely Chamber of Commerce, Linda Fryer said, “In no way should the re-opening of Pioneer Mine be confused with the Chamber’s announcement of Canoeber.”
Job applications can be sent to: Up North Jobs or Ely Greenstone P.A., 401 North Pioneer Road Ely, MN 55731.