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Material like this from an old tailings basin are what Magnetation workers are digging up Tuesday, December 17, 2013 near Grand Rapids, Minn. Credit: Derek Montgomery/For MPR News

In waste rock, mining companies find opportunity and jobs

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Grand Rapids, Minn. – The rising price of iron ore and other metals in the last decade has led mining companies to an important discovery: there's money to be made in what was once considered waste.

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Minnesota's Iron Range is littered with the legacy of 130 years of iron mining. Mine pits, enormous waste rock piles and tailings basins dot the landscape.

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