Republic Iron Mine

Useful Information

Location: Republic. The observation stand is located only 800 m off M-95. Turn east south of the Michigamme River bridge, right at the yield sign, then 400 m to the stand.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: MineIron Mine, open cast mine.
Light: n/a.
Dimension: VR=200 m, Ar=100 ha.
Guided tours: self guided
Address: Republic Iron Mine
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1872 iron mining started.
1926 mining stopped.
1950's mining revived.
1982 iron mining ended.
1996 mine permanently closed.


At Republic Iron Mine first a high-grade hard ore and later hematitic taconite was mined. The ores were formed by several processes, including deposition of the iron-formation and later alteration by paleo-weathering and metamorphism. Republic iron mine lies within the Upper Jaspilite Unit of the Negaunee Iron Formation, which ranges in thickness from 100 m to 160 m. This jaspilite facies looks very impressive, because of the dark red bands in black rock. The ore is 88% pure iron oxide.

This opencast mine is now closed, and the groundwater filled the huge pit to a certain level. Above this level, the mined ore is easy to see. The pit is 200 m deep and has an area of 100 ha. It is the only open pit mine in Michigan open for free public viewing. There is an observation stand near the pit's edge. The mine is owned by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, who also own MineTilden Mine, which is still operating.

The old mine dumps are full of specular hematite and magnetite. You may also find crystallized quartz in openings in the specularite, good specimens of feldspar, beryl, red jasper, jaspilite and tourmaline.