Minnesota iron ore trust dissolves after 108 years

The Great Northern Iron Ore Properties, set up by railroad pioneer James J. Hill in December 1906, was terminated on Monday, April 6. The trust agreement stated that the trust shall continue for twenty years after the death of the last survivor of eighteen persons named in the original document.

The trust was set up by Great Northern Railway Company because of a federal law known as the Hepburn Act of 1906 which stipulated that no railroad was permitted to haul commodities which they had produced themselves.

The Trust owned lands on the Mesabi Iron Range spanning two counties (St. Louis and Itasca) in northeastern Minnesota, extending from Hoyt Lakes on the east end of the Mesabi Iron Range to Grand Rapids on the west end. 67,000 acres in total.

Over the last 108 years over 700 million tonnes of iron ore and taconite ore pellets were shipped from the trust's properties leased to steel companies and miners and over $500 million were  distributed to its certificate holders. The trust's final distribution would be in the region of $11 million.

The winding up of the trust which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GNI comes at a difficult time for the Minnesota taconite industry.

Nearly 1,200 workers at five of the 12 Iron Range operations will be out of a job by June as the slump in the international price of the steelmaking raw material slumps to the lowest in nearly a decade, reports the Duluth News Tribune.

Read more at the Official Site of Great Northern Iron Ore Properties.

Hat tip to Mr AL Amuerhoff.