University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Iron Mines

Electrical MeterAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 47,000 pounds of material is required to be mined each year to meet the needs of each person in the U.S. In Minnesota, mining operations require a significant amount of energy to process the iron ore from taconite. To make mining more efficient, the U.S. mining industry partnered with U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Technologies Program (ITP). The ITP’s Industries of the Future process has helped the mining industry complete a number of tasks including developing an energy analysis to identify energy-saving opportunities. Learn more about these efforts.

Through a U.S. Department of Energy–sponsored project, MnTAP facilitated compressed air audits at United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite. From that project, MnTAP learned that facilities have common opportunities for energy efficiency improvements: leak reduction, storage, sequencing, and removing inappropriate uses such as cooling bearings and cleaning conveyor belts. A fact sheet, Air Compressor Energy-Saving Tips, is available to help your mine save energy.












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