U.S. Steel grants permits for Minntac Mine Extension on Iron Range

By KBJR News 1

January 29, 2014 Updated Jan 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM CDT

Mountain Iron, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minntac taconite mine extension project on the Iron Range has received the state permits needed to move forward with the 483 acre expansion.

According to the DNR the Minntac mine expansion project will extend the life of the pellet producing taconite plant by 16 years.

"It extends our boundary to mine area that gives us more valid ore body reserves that we will mine into to assist us in our annual pellet production," said Larry Sutherland, general manager for U.S. Steel.

Another result of the expansion? More jobs.

Approximately 100 steelworker jobs have been added locally from the project.

"We like the jobs, the good jobs that it creates," said Bernie Collins, president of the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce.

Over 100 jobs have already been created and officials from US Steel say, there are more to come.

More to come in the form of construction.

""There will be construction jobs on the moving of county road 102," said Sutherland.

"That's not even including spin off jobs that'll come from other retail businesses and support businesses in the area," said Collins.

And as far as environmental impacts are concerned...

"We will continue to maintain environmental compliance with this extension as we have in the past with our mining activities," said Sutherland.

Permits for the Minntac extension project were issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The moving of highway 102 will continue through this spring.
The project is expected to be complete sometime in 2015.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com