How heavy is a dime bag of taconite?

Metal profile and pipes on white background.

If the domestic iron mining industry ever goes to pot, perhaps we in northern Minnesota could take matters into our own hands, running ore across the border like bootleggers.

Case in point, the Knights Templar drug cartels in western Mexico has now diversified to the point that illegal iron mining and processing is a major part of their business.

From the AP:

The cartel counts illegal mining, logging and extortion as its biggest moneymakers, said Alfredo Castillo, the Mexican government’s special envoy sent to restore the rule of law in Michoacan, the state controlled by the Knights Templar the last several years.

Iron ore “is their principle source of income,” Castillo told The Associated Press. “They’re charging $15 (a metric ton) for the process, from extraction to transport, processing, storage, permits and finally export.” The ore itself doesn’t go for that price; the cartel skims $15 for every ton arriving in port.

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