(NORTHLAND'S NEWSCENTER)---A start up venture on the Iron Range will now have its own source of Iron Ore.
Mining Resources, a company operated by Steel Dynamics and Magnetation, is one step closer to starting construction on a $50 million Iron Ore processing plant.
The St. Louis County Board granted the company a land lease for nearly 700 of tax-forfeit land just south of Chisholm on Tuesday.
Now, company officials are just waiting for the mining permit to be finalized and are hoping to break ground as early as next week.
"We are looking at starting the construction in November, and finishing up construction, May or June of next year," Tom Lutes, Plant Manager of Mining Resources LLC said. "So that we can start on the commissioning and plant start up by next summer."
The project is expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction and nearly 60 permanent jobs.
"The minerals that we have on this site will last us about four years," Dave Bednarz, Vice President said. "But in the surrounding area, other areas, there is enough mineral here to run the operation for well in excess of fifteen years."
As a whole, the project is expected to produce one million tons of concentrate.
Company officials expect to process two to three million tons of taconite tailings per year.
"Mesabi Nugget facility in Hoyt Lakes will take about 800,000 tons of that one million tons," Bednarz said. "The balance will be sold in the outside markets by Magnetation Inc."
Because the Mesabi Trail runs directly through the proposed mine site, officials plan to re-route one mile of the trail west.
"The snowmobile trail will be in place for this winter," Keith Nelson, 6th District Commissioner said. "And of course, the bituminous surface for the Mesabi Trail will be in place by June 15, so really not a lot of interruption for the public."
Mineral Resources LLC is a joint venture, of which 80 percent is owned by Steel Dynamics with Magnetation owning the other 20 percent.
Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch