Cliffs boasts big earnings, state support in Essar battle

Last week, Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves announced that his company posted a $199 million profit in 2016. That reflects a positive swing of almost $1 billion from the dismal 2015 downturn of the American steel industry. It’s also basic math, as Cliffs finally has all its Minnesota mines up and running, filling orders… Read More →

Mesabi Metallics to try building upon Essar bones

Mesabi Metallics issued a plan last week to bring the former Essar Steel Minnesota iron ore project in Nashwauk, Minnesota, out of bankruptcy and back into construction. A judge must now consider whether the newly reorganized company has sufficiently proven its case to keep the state mineral leases along the western Mesabi Iron Range. “Creditors will receive vastly… Read More →

Animation depicts Hibbing’s new Beltline roundabout

This summer, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Iron Range city of Hibbing will install a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Highways 169 and 37. News of this change has already caused many Range residents to go, “blurggle, blurggle, a-fuff-fuff-fuff!” This is one of Hibbing’s busiest intersections. I spend a portion of most mornings… Read More →

Minnesota fifth largest source of U.S. minerals

Minnesota is the fifth largest producer of American mineral resources according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The state remains the largest producer of iron ore in the country, but also produces many millions of dollars worth of industrial sand and stone.   From the Myers story: The USGS report reiterated what… Read More →

ERP Iron Ore finalizes purchase of Magnetation

Bankrupt Magnetation is officially under new ownership. State of Virginia-based ERP Iron Ore finalized a purchase agreement of Magnetation according to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. WDIO reported the story earlier today. Magnetation, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is a scram mining and iron ore processing company. The company recycles iron ore from waste piles in Northern Minnesota and… Read More →

MINOS lab departs Soudan mine cavern

This week crews remove components from the MINOS laboratory on the 27th level of the Soudan Underground Mine on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. The picture above shows massive steel “neutrino tracking” panels” being removed from the facility. Since 2003, the lab hosted notable experiments testing the nature of subatomic particles in a beam fired underground… Read More →

Former Range senator Tony Perpich dies

Last Saturday, former Iron Range State Sen. Tony Perpich (DFL-Eveleth) died in his Shoreview, Minn., home at the age of 84. He had battled heart disease. Perpich grew up part of a politically charged first generation Croatian immigrant family raised in the mining location of Carson Lake. With his brothers, he helped reshape Iron Range politics in the 1960s,… Read More →

School gun range shot down by lead complaint

Last October, I shared news of a suddenly controversial gun range in the basement of the Lincoln Elementary School in Hibbing. After efforts to keep the range compliant with safety concerns, it now appears that lead contamination may doom the facility. For sixty years the Lincoln, originally a middle school, featured an underground gun range that… Read More →

Slice of Life: 78 years of columns from Floodwood writer

Every once in a while I congratulate myself because I’ve written a continuous weekly newspaper column for the Hibbing Daily Tribune since June of 2001. Every Sunday (and sometimes more often) I’ve had an original thought, sometimes coherent, in the paper. As of today, that’s almost 16 years of columns, not insignificant in today’s media… Read More →

Hwy 53 bridge work spans cold Iron Range winter

We woke up to 32 below in my western corner of the Mesabi Iron Range this morning. Unlike other parts of the country, that’s a matter of personal comfort. It would take even colder conditions to disrupt routine. Minnesotans may not like, but generally can handle such temperatures. After all, the vast majority work indoors, where… Read More →