Magnetation to Build Pellet Plant in Indiana

By KBJR News 1

November 27, 2012 Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM CDT

Bovey, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Magnetation LLC announced Tuesday that they'll build their new iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.

The iron ore pellet manufacturer, headquartered on the Iron Range,
had been considering expanding to Superior.

"This was the best fit for the business," said Magnetation President Matt Lehtinen of the decision to build in Indiana, "The site down there [Indiana] had existing rail infrastructure on it. It had some existing assets. The process to get ready to build and break ground fit within the window we were looking at."

Lehtinen also says the site in Indiana makes the most sense logistically, as the customer for the pellets is in Ohio.

The new plant is expected to cost up to $350 million and create up to 120 jobs.

The company considered several sites before choosing Reynolds, including Superior.

"We've lost one since I've been here," said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen of the company's decision to build elsewhere, "And we've gained a lot."

Mayor Hagen says that the site in Superior had its advantages and disadvantages, just like the site in Indiana. He says that he's confident the city will fill the industrial park.

"We're not disappointed," said Mayor Hagen of Magnetation's decision, "The beauty of it is, it has been a great experience. We've got a marketable industrial park that's gotten great exposure through this whole process."

Lehtinen says the expansion to Indiana is good for Northern Minnesota. He says that two-thirds of the jobs from the entire project will be in Minnesota at the company's fourth and fifth mining concentrate plants.

"Putting the plant in the place that makes the most business sense, that benefits our entire company," said Lehtinen, "It benefits all our employees and that makes the project competitive, it makes it sustainable in the long term."

Magnetation will transport iron ore concentrate from their sites in Northern Minnesota to the new plant in Indiana, which will make high-quality iron ore pellets for AK Steel Corporation.

Lehtinen has said the jobs created in Minnesota at plants four and five would not be possible without the new pellet plant.

Magnetation plans to break ground on the Indiana facility in early 2013 and be fully operational by the end of 2014.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.