Another ‘new’ mine in Iron Country

Steel Dynamics and Cleveland-Cliffs closed a land deal that will allow the Steel Dynamics iron nugget plant to begin construction on the East Range in the vicinity of the former LTV taconite plant. LTV’s demise in 2001 kicked off a mini-panic on the Iron Range that included other taconite plant shutdowns or closures and paved the way for harebrained ideas like the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Energy Project. Now market forces and steel prices have expedited the iron nugget plant and Nashwauk’s Minnesota Steel project, now owned by India’s Essar Global. If we had spent our money differently in the early 2000s, Iron Range Resources and others would have funding for any number of the now crucial infrastructure projects we need to build for our soon-to-grow communities.

True blessings go to those who keep their heads during the bad times and keep their values during the good times. I suppose the same could be said for geographic regions. Here’s hoping that we’re learning something along the way.

Land deal clears way for new iron ore mine in Iron Range
Lee Bloomquist
Duluth News Tribune – 12/04/2007

Steel Dynamics and Cleveland-Cliffs announced a land deal Monday that would lead to the opening of a new mine to provide raw material for the world’s first commercial iron nugget plant. The mine and plant together would employ about 200 to 300 workers, compared with 50 for the nugget plant alone, said Steel Dynamics chairman and CEO Keith Busse.

The Mesabi Nugget plant is planned for the former LTV Steel Mining Co. site near Aurora and Hoyt Lakes.

“This is excellent news,” Hoyt Lakes Mayor Marlene Pospeck said. “Everything is moving ahead, very much so. I’m very impressed with the progress that’s being made in construction in the first phase of the project.”

Under the $18 million deal, Steel Dynamics Inc. will acquire about 6,000 acres at the former LTV Steel Mining Co. site and assume some environmental and reclamation liabilities that had been Cleveland-Cliffs’ responsibility.

It also will acquire mineral rights to about 133 million tons of iron ore reserves beneath the ground at the former taconite plant, according to Pete Clevenstine, state Department of Natural Resources Lands and Minerals manager of engineering and mineral development.

Steel Dynamics officials in September said there are enough iron ore reserves at the site to operate four iron nugget modules for 100 years.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.