First it was a mine, then a state park; will it be a mine again?

Aaron Brown
Blogger and columnist Aaron Brown, standing in front of Hill Annex Mine State Park in Calumet, Minn., on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Hill Annex offers tours of an old pit mine on Fridays and Saturdays, but its future as a state park is in question as officials decide whether the minerals below the surface are once again mineable.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

Unlike most Minnesota state parks, Hill Annex Mine State Park has no campgrounds or trails. But it does have a tour of an open-pit mine. As columnist and blogger Aaron Brown recently wrote, the future of the Hill Annex park is in doubt, because officials are considering whether minerals still below the surface might make the mine profitable once more.

"Buried in the park's charter is a provision that it could be closed if the iron ore reserves below the park were ever deemed commercially viable," Brown wrote. "Essar Steel, which aims to start operations north and west of Nashwauk next year, is saying they might be interested in mining there."

Host Tom Weber speaks with Brown about the mine and its prospects.

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