Prairie River Minerals scrambles to scram while iron market hot

Last April, I was first to report about Prairie River Minerals, a new company formed to process iron ore stockpiles on the western Mesabi Iron Range. It was a story that fell in my lap because a friend of mine is involved in the project. Thus, I’ve mostly left the story alone since then. But… Read More →

UPDATE: Mesabi Metallics claims new partners to restart former Essar iron ore project

UPDATE: I’ve revised the June 6 post with new information and to clarify project ownership. On Wednesday evening WDIO-Duluth aired a report by Renee Passal about a potential new investors and management structure for Mesabi Metallics. However, on Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources rejected the company as lacking credibility. Mesabi Metallics keeps a… Read More →

Ely police talk down raging deer

When I was a reporter I would often have to translate police reports into normal human words. For countless journalists, this is a full time job. However, this tweet from the Ely Police Department requires no editing: Press Release: pic.twitter.com/V2HU9cHOT5 — Ely Police Dept (@ElyPolice) May 23, 2019 That’s one bad-ass momma deer ready to… Read More →

Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert approve shared high school plan

Tonight voters in the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts appear to have approved a plan to build a shared high school that would serve both communities. The districts have not yet released vote totals, but will on Wednesday. Unofficial reports showed the measure passing in all three communities. Despite the lack of information, referendum supporters… Read More →

Monumental school vote approaches in Virginia, Eveleth-Gilbert districts

This Tuesday, May 14, voters in the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts will vote in a school bond referendum. The result will shape the future of these communities and, quite possibly, the entire educational strategy of the Mesabi Iron Range. If that sounds like I’m laying it on a bit thick, consider the following: If… Read More →

World’s largest mining company moves on PolyMet

Today, global mining giant Glencore moves one big step closer to owning the proposed Northern Minnesota copper-nickel venture PolyMet. Glencore is the largest mining company in the world by revenue with properties on six continents. It is three times larger than the next largest mining company. It is 11 times larger than the world’s largest… Read More →

On comments

I’ve often spoken about my stint as the 21-year-old editor of a small daily newspaper on the Iron Range. You could argue I was too young, too inexperienced, and too pie-eyed for that whole thing to work, and that’s all objectively true, but I sure learned a hell of a lot. One of the duties… Read More →

Cliffs CEO ‘in no hurry’ to build 2nd HBI plant

These days, Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves seems positively jubilant in his quarterly earnings calls with investors and the media. And why not? The first quarter of the year is normally pretty slow. That’s when iron ore ships are docked until ice retreats from the Great Lakes. Nevertheless, Cliffs performed well ahead of expectations in the… Read More →

Prairie River Minerals aims to restart scram mining on western Mesabi

Amid high demand and temporarily limited global supply, another new scram mining venture aims to reclaim natural iron ore on the western Mesabi Iron Range. Prairie River Minerals seeks to mine about 1.3 million tons of iron ore annually, mostly in Itasca County, hiring about 125 union workers in the process. The chief partners in… Read More →

With final permit, PolyMet project enters ‘prove it’ stage

Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the last required federal permit for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. With this permit, the company now enters the next phase of its development: proving that it has the capital and ability to execute its mine plan. Local news and Northern Minnesota social media… Read More →