Nubai Global Investment Ltd. has appointed Gary Heasley interim CEO of Mesabi Metallics Company LLC in Nashwauk. Nubai is the primary investor in Mesabi, which was being developed by Essar Steel Minnesota until its bankruptcy.
In addition, Nubai has appointed Jamie Nelson, who has assumed the role of director of Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC and Mesabi. He is an international lawyer and is a veteran director, having been appointed to the boards of numerous high profile companies around the world, including mining companies in Canada.
"We have committed over $250 million into the project to date are excited to continue investing to complete construction and bring Mesabi into production. We believe the project will make a significant contribution to the future of the
iron ore industry in Minnesota," John Oram, board member of Chippewa and Mesabi said in a Thursday announcement. "We are delighted that Gary Heasley assumes the role of an interim CEO of Mesabi at this critical juncture. Mesabi will benefit from his clear leadership, drive and ambition and expert knowledge of the metals and mining industries. With this internal re-structuring complete, we can now look forward to Mesabi ramping up its construction activities."
The restructuring began last week when Nubai told the Itasca County Board that Tom Clarke had been removed as CEO of Mesabi. In response, Clarke said he remained in charge but had removed two board members who represented Nubai. On Tuesday, Nubai filed a court motion to restrain Clarke from representing himself as being affiliated with Mesabi or Chippewa.
"We are also delighted with the addition of Jamie Nelson to the boards of both Chippewa and Mesabi and sincerely believe that we will derive significant assistance and guidance of Jamie through his global expertise on board related matters at both companies,” Oram continued in a prepared statement.
“I am excited to work with the great team at Mesabi, and all the stakeholders in Minnesota to keep the project moving forward and I am delighted to be asked to step in as interim CEO of Mesabi. I know this project will create great opportunities for so many Minnesotans, and I look forward to ramping up activity at the site in the coming weeks and months.”
“I have been following the historic iron ore project of much promise at Nashwauk, Minnesota for some time and am truly delighted to join the boards of Chippewa and Mesabi to assist in getting the project completed and get to operations soon,” Nelson said.
Clarke's removal came nine days after he led ERP Iron into bankruptcy after missing a deadline to pay the state of Minnesota rent on mineral leases. Clarke had hoped to combine ERP with Mesabi and Chippewa.