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 →

What next for long-suffering Nashwauk mine project?

I drive past the former Butler Taconite mine site near Nashwauk, Minnesota, nearly every day. As such, I have ample time to join my neighbors, local leaders and international iron ore traders in wondering what might happen with the long-stalled construction of a new mine there. All this comes more than three decades after Butler… Read More →

Essar sues state but misses deadline; Cliffs hungry for ore

Essar Steel is fighting back against state attempts to debar the company, but in doing so reveals it will miss another deadline on the long beleaguered iron ore project. Meantime, Cleveland-Cliffs hungrily seeks new ore reserves, reopening a mine in Michigan and waiting to develop its property near the Essar site.

10-week sprint to special election for Iron Range school plan

On May 14, voters in Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will decide whether a new $181 million shared high school plan becomes reality.

New Virginia/Eveleth-Gilbert high school plan gains major funding boost

Two rival Iron Range school districts will build a consolidated high school if voters approve a now greatly subsidized school levy. Last Friday, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board recommended to its state department a $100 million investment in a shared Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert high school. Almost $5 million per year would space out over 20 years. 

Hibbing Community College to name buildings

If you’re like me, you wonder how places got their names. There’s usually some story involved, even if it’s boring. At college you might have sat in a building named for some dusty old multisyllabic poo-bah from the past. A plaque in the lobby identified the crusty oldster, who we all assume forked over a… Read More →