The Erie Mining Co. Scholarship Fund commemorates the company and its employees by awarding scholarships to students living where the company once operated. Applicants should be graduating seniors from Mesabi East or Cook County High schools who plan to pursue postsecondary degrees at accredited schools. They also must submit a response in 100 or fewer words to the question, “Why is Minnesota’s mineral industry essential to modern life?” Preference is given to students expressing interest in a career in the minerals industry. Other criteria are: financial need, Academic record and letters of recommendation Erie Mining Co. existed from 1940 to 2001 and was a pioneer in the taconite industry. Erie’s Preliminary Taconite Plant (PreTac) near Aurora was the world’s first commercially successful taconite mine and processing plant. It operated from 1948 to 1957 and proved the technical and economic feasibility of taconite mining and processing. In 1954, construction began on the Erie Commercial Plant near Hoyt Lakes, a power plant and dock at Taconite Harbor on Lake Superior and a railroad connecting the two. The towns of Hoyt Lakes and Taconite Harbor were built for employees and their families. Erie was a leading employer in the area from 1957 to its closure in 2001.
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