Polls open in House 3A special election DFL primary

Polls are open until 8 p.m. in today’s Minnesota House District 3A special election DFL primary. It’s been a fascinating campaign, full of inky barbs and clashes between Northern Minnesota political factions. Going into today’s election, Ecklund and Hansen have emerged as frontrunners, but with the potential for low turnout and the general unpredictability of this vast, rural… Read More →

Cliffs seeks permits for value-added iron

Cliffs Natural Resources faces several serious problems: huge debt, an anemic iron ore price, tougher global competition. Nevertheless, Cliffs is announcing that it the company is moving on its proposals to convert a production line at Northshore Mining to direct-reduced iron and to add a flux pellet at the soon-to-be-idled United Taconite. The Mesabi Daily News… Read More →

With contracts looming, Range mines crunch numbers

No matter your job or politics, ten dollars is always ten dollars. By some reports, that’s how much money some Iron Range mines need to shave off their cost for a ton of taconite iron ore to survive the coming global steel industry contraction. John Myers at the Duluth News Tribune reported on this last weekend, highlighting… Read More →

Cliffs lays off 100 Iron Range salaried workers

On Monday, Cliffs Natural Resources announced 100 job cuts at its Northern Minnesota mines affecting salaried workers at Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite in Eveleth and Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay. Cliffs had declared optimism about avoiding Iron Range shutdowns just last week, but also unveiled a mine closure in Michigan and huge first quarter losses…. Read More →

Cliffs optimistic even as other Iron Range mines struggle

UPDATE: Post amended to add Cliffs plant shutodown in Michigan. We’ve spend an exhausting amount of digital ink and radio blathering on the struggles facing Iron Range mines amid a global contraction in steelmaking and iron ore. U.S. Steel properties in Northern Minnesota are preparing for shutdown that could last the rest of the year, while… Read More →