Magnetation Expands Two Iron Range Plants

By KBJR News 1

March 1, 2013 Updated Mar 2, 2013 at 4:01 PM CDT

Coleraine, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Iron ore concentrate producer, Magnetation, recently secured $110 million in capital investments, helping the growth of their new pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana. But the company is also experiencing growth at their plants on the Iron Range.

"We've broken ground and are moving along nicely on a project to expand our concentrate capacity here in Northern Minnesota," said Magnetation's CFO, Joe Broking.

The expansion at Magnetation's Plant 2 near Coleraine will allow the company to produce 400,000 more tons of iron ore concentrate every year.

An expansion at the company's Plant 1 near Keewatin will increase capacity by 100,000 tons per year.

"These two projects combined represent over $30 million in capital investments that Magnetation is making here on the Iron Range," said Broking.

Broking says the investments wouldn't be possible without the company's new pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.

The plant is expected to produce three million tons of pellets every year, meaning the company is going to need a lot more iron ore concentrate, concentrate which will be made on the Range.

"The pellet plant itself and that deal drives jobs and economic activity here on the Iron Range, because we need the additional iron concentrate capacity to feed that pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana," said Broking.

But expansion doesn't just mean more concentrate, it means more jobs.

Broking says the company's Plant 4, a concentrate plant near Plant 2 in Coleraine, would create 120 to 140 new jobs. Something that isn't hard for community leaders to support.

"There are a lot of people applying for these jobs from other states,
[which] aren't doing quite as well as we are in Northern Minnesota right now, and that's going to increase our economic development.
It's going to increase our population," said Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce President, Bud Stone.

Magnetation officials say they're on track to start up the pellet plant in Indiana by the third quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, the expansion at their Plant 2 near Coleraine is expected to be completed by this summer.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.