Minnesota DNR: Mesabi Metallics Mineral Leases Now Terminated
DULUTH, Minn. – On Thursday, the Minnesota DNR released a statement saying they have now terminated the state mineral leases with Mesabi Metallics.
The DNR says they “will follow up with the company on next steps regarding any equipment that may need to be removed from the properties previously under mineral lease.”
No decisions have been made on future leasing in the area.
The DNR continued in their statement saying it “will take the time necessary to consider proposals from credible entities before deciding how to proceed.”
The decision comes after Mesabi Metallics did not meet the terms of their agreement with the DNR to meet required benchmarks by May 1st. The DNR says Mesabi couldn’t demonstrate that it had $200 million immediately available in its accounts.
We caught up with the CEO of Mesabi Metallics today who says they will take every step necessary to make sure the operation becomes a reality on the Range after the company spent $1.5 billion at the site. Now the plan is to work with the DNR to make sure Mesabi Metallics happens.
“We are excited about this project,” said Larry Sutherland, the CEO of Mesabi Metallics. “The local community and people from across the state are very supportive of our project and they want to see us move forward and we’re optimistic.”
US Steel previously showed interest in developing the site due to its close proximity to their Keetac mine adding they could fully develop the site quickly while providing more opportunities for its workers.
Cleveland Cliffs has also expressed an interest in operating in that area.