Gov. Dayton Holds Town Hall Meeting On Mesabi Metallics Project

NASHWAUK, Minn. – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appeared on the Iron Range Monday to meet with local leaders and community members to discuss the future of the Mesabi Metallics mining site.

It’s a packed house here in Nashwauk Township Community Center and the people want answers directly from about where this project stands.

Questions that need answers like when will this project be completed? What’s the hold up?

Those are some of the things the public wants to know.

Including Mike Tichy. He’s been in the mining industry for 43 years and currently works for Cleveland- Cliffs.

Cleveland-Cliffs is important now over the leases and i think the leases should go to cliffs and they shouldn’t have to be re-permitted,” said Tichy.

Gov. Dayton along with officials from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Mesabi Metallics were also at the town hall meeting.

Gary heasley of Mesabi Metallics says there has been steady construction on the site for the last 15 months and there are currently any pellets because construction needs to be complete first.

But there is a timeline to commence construction by December 2018 and complete the pellet plant construction by December 2019.

“So it is what it is. We don’t have the ability since it’s now owned by Mesabi Metallics to go out and negotiate with somebody else,” said Dayton. “I mean that probably would be illegal. It wouldn’t be proper.”

Gov. Dayton says there currently is no viable alternative.

One option would be surrendering lease rights if someone was to buy them out, so now we just wait.

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