Construction Continues at Mining Resources

By KBJR News 1

January 7, 2012 Updated Jan 7, 2012 at 12:17 AM CDT

CHISHOLM, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---In another sign of growth on the Iron Range construction has begun on Mining Resources, a more than $50 million iron ore processing plant, south of Chisholm.

After a short permitting delay, foundations and footings for the building are being poured.

Contractors say the warmer weather has helped to move construction forward at a faster pace.

Mining Resources is expected to be open for business by July.

"Next week we are hoping to pour roughly 100 feet a day of footings," Jeremy Castle, of Northern Industrial Erectors said. "It's going to be towards the late part of the month that steel is going to start arriving so we can start erecting the building."

Within about four years, the project is expected to produce one million tons of iron ore concentrate.

Eighty percent of the concentrate produced onsite will be used at the Mesabi Nugget plant in Hoyt Lakes.

Magnetation, which owns 20 percent of the company, will sell the remaining concentrate to outside markets.

"There will be three Rev 3.1 Separators located on this west wall where the foundation is currently going on," Tom Lutes, Project Manager said.

Company officials expect to process two to three million tons of taconite tailings per year using Magnetation's patented technology, which separates iron units from material in old tailings basins.

Mining Resources currently has about 20 permanent employees and is looking to hire engineers.

Employees say they are eager to begin work at the plant.

"Taking a whole plant from dirt work all the way up to processing, I think it's going to be cool just to see all that," Jesse Stanton, a Mining Resources employee said. "And then getting it running, getting it up to capacity and 'kinda working some of these bugs out with this idea that is still pretty new."

In total, the project is expected to create 300 part time construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs.

Company officials met with the Minnesota Department of Transportation today to discuss plans to build another service road to and from the site.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch