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 →

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 →

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 →

When the levee breaks

Tailings basins are a key part of Mesabi Iron Range mining history, but are also making headlines across the world. Balancing responsible mining with environmental risk is a critical question going forward.

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.

DNR to block Essar Steel from doing business with state

Earlier this month, Essar Steel roared back to life in the continuing saga of a proposed iron mine near Nashwauk, Minnesota. Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said that the state wasn’t buying it.

Essar Steel comes back to life, vows return to Nashwauk project

In a surprising twist, India’s Essar Global appears to have wiggled out of bankruptcy and a takeover bid by ArcelorMittal. Not only that, but company officials now say they will resume work at their Nashwauk, Minn., plant, the control of which they have quietly reclaimed in recent months.

Crowd questions Mesabi Metallics in tense meeting

Hundreds packed the Nashwauk Township Community Center Monday night to ask questions of Gov. Mark Dayton, state officials and the CEO of Mesabi Metallics. The governor called the town hall meeting after months of local criticism. A proposal to build a new mine on the site of the long defunct Butler Taconite site once carried… Read More →

Governor, Mesabi Metallics to hold Nashwauk forum

On a sunny July day in 2016, Gov. Mark Dayton and a gaggle of mining officials took questions inside the Nashwauk Township Community Center about the former Butler Taconite plant just a few miles down the road. Now, just over two years later, Dayton will hold a similar event, only this production boasts a whole… Read More →