Magnetation May Shut Down Plant Four in Grand Rapids

Over 150 positions hang in the balance at the plant

The announcement is another bit of bad news for the Magnetation Company which filed for bankruptcy in May of last year and has never been quite the same.

The Grand Rapids facility employs about 160 workers and the company is also planning for a potential shutdown of a pellet plant in Indiana, where about 100 people work.

Magnetation turns old iron mine waste into iron concentrate and was hit hard by the iron ore price crisis last year.

The Grand Rapids community will be affected unless a new investor comes, potentially keeping these workers employed.

Bud Stone, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, said “It’s too bad it happened, it could have been prevented. The whole mining issue it’s always been cyclical but it seems to be more so than normal.”

Plant One in Keewaten and Plant Two in Bovey have already closed indefinitely. A third plant in Chisholm, co–owned by Magnetation, also shut down.

Now that news of these possible mass layoffs has spread across the community, and many have started preparing.

Places like Itasca Community College are getting ready to help anyone who needs training for a new job.

Bart Johnson, the Provost at Itasca Community College, said “For the college our mission is education so as we find out more we will be looking at it as a college and as part of the community how can we respond to that need.”

Itasca Community College and Hibbing Community College are among area schools already working on programs for mining industry workers who might find themselves out of a job.

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