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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
Magentation exceeds employment expectations, to begin construction on Plant Four
Employment numbers at Magnetation are greater than the company anticipated this spring, Mike Twite, the company’s environmental, land and government affairs manager, told the joint powers Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board in Bovey last week.
“Right now were up to 322 people. That’s an increase (from the update the company provided in the spring) – we thought we’d around 300 or so,” Twite told the board.
Magnetation, which produces iron ore concentrates from tailings basins, has experienced meteoric growth in its five-plus year history. The company has grown to current levels from original employment expectations of only a few dozen workers when fully operational.
The company currently operates two mining operations on the West Range as well as a joint venture operation, Mining Resources LLC, near Chisholm (owned 80 percent by Steel Dynamics and 20 percent by Magnetation Inc.). The company maintains headquarters in Grand Rapids and has expansion plans on the West Range and beyond.
Twite provided the board with an overview of Magnetation’s operations and current plans. Highlights include:
• The company plans to employ more than 400 in Minnesota once all its planned operations are running at capacity.
• Magnetation has put much recent effort into improving its iron ore recovery methods.
• The company has two plants operational on the West Range, plants one and two, located near Keewatin and Bovey, respectively. Plant four, construction for which will begin this month, will be located on the northwest side of the Canisteo Pit. The new plant is a $120 million investment and will be a feeder for the company’s pellet plant. Timelines call for the new plant to be up and running by the first quarter 2015.
• Plant one has an annual production capacity of 400,000 metric tons, while plant two has a 1.2 million metric ton capacity.
• Pellet plant construction at Magnetation’s Reynolds, IN site is proceeding ahead of schedule. The pellet plant is expected to be operational by 2015. Plant four will feed the pellet plant, which will have a 3 million metric ton per year capacity to process iron ore concentrates into high quality fluxed pellets.
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