It was a sanguine year for iron ore shipments from the UP, but no record. Due to the stability of production on the Marquette Iron Range, the amount of iron ore shipped from the LS&I dock in Marquette's Upper Harbor increased to 7.8 million tons in 2002, from 6.8 million tons in 2001. Iron ore tonnage shipped from the dock has oscillated over the past five years. It currently matches the tonnage shipped in 1998.
Empire Mine in Palmer generated 3.6 million tons last yearslightly less than the previous year. However, Tilden Mine in Ishpeming set production records, producing 7.85 million tons in 2002 and topping the previous record of 7.37 million tons reached more than two decades ago.
In 2002, 48.1 million tons of iron ore were shipped on the Great Lakes, an increase from the 46.9 million tons shipped the previous year. Still, last year's tonnage was well off 1997's total of 63.3 million tons.