Construction continues at Essar Steel

A source with knowledge of the proceedings of the Itasca County Railroad Authority told me about an update on the construction of Essar Steel near Nashwauk, which was shared at a recent meeting of the authority.

Essar has increased their staff to about 100 people, on its way to about 325 permanent personnel to run the mine and taconite plant. About 75-100 people are on site working for contractors. Construction has not ramped up as much as expected, due to continued issues between Essar and its lenders. Pellet production is expected to begin in 2014.

There is tangible evidence that Essar construction is continuing. You can see the tall stacks peeking over the tree line north of Nashwauk. Nevertheless, progress here has been years in the making.

Essar’s development on the western Mesabi is one of the factors I discussed with MPR’s Tom Weber in this recent interview on the Daily Circuit.

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