Experts Push for New Kind of Iron on Minnesota’s Iron Range

Experts Claim Change Would Accommodate Trends in Steel Industry

Some experts say it’s time for Minnesota’s Iron Range to begin producing a new kind of iron to accommodate changing trends in the steel industry.

Direct reduced iron is a purer form than lower-grade taconite and can be used directly in the electric arc furnaces that are replacing blast furnaces nationwide.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the new electric furnace market uses about 60 percent of steel produced in the U.S.

A metallurgical engineer at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute says the state’s mining industry needs to change along with the market for steel.

Several companies operating mines on the Iron Range plan to produce pellets that can be used to make direct reduced iron or build electric arc furnaces.

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