U.S. Steel Officials Talk About $150M Plans For New Keetac Facility

KEEWATIN, Minn. — There was excitement on the Iron Range Wednesday over the prospects of another large investment in mining.

U.S. Steel officials gathered at the Keetac Plant in Keewatin to talk about their plans for a state-of-the-art facility.

“I am more than just a little bit pumped up about this. Just, I heard all the thanks, I’ve just got to double down and so thank you so much, again, and,” said David Burritt, the President and CEO of U.S. Steel.

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The head of U.S. Steel could not contain himself on the beautiful fall day. David Burritt was in Keewatin with $150 million worth of excitement. That is the cost of the project that the company announced earlier this summer.

It already has an iron ore and pellet plant here, but now is building a new plant to make what’s known as a direct-reduced or grade pellets. They are pivotal in creating the iron that feeds state-of-the-art, steel-producing electric arc furnaces.

“We have the best integrated mills that are now world class, right? We have the best of the mini mills. We combined those we call it best for both, and now the next dimension is to have profitable steel solution for people and our most important customer, the plant. These are clearly exciting times to be in a leadership role and I couldn’t more excited about being right here in the great state of Minnesota,” Burritt said.

The investment means jobs and hopefully some stability in an industry that is often buffeted by the economic winds. Union members and lawmakers were on hand to acknowledge the value and importance.

Governor Tim Walz said, “First and foremost on behalf of the people of Minnesota, thank you for U.S. Steels trust in Minnesota and your investments. And to see the work that’s being done up here at Keetac and this investment, is absolutely critical.”

There may be questions about what’s ahead for the U.S. economy, and winter is just around the corner, but on the October day, there was a big sense of optimism.

“Ahead of budget, ahead of schedule, you know that’s the way we live here and we got the best team on this project to make sure that it goes well. And contractors we count on you being safe every day, we count on you hitting your delivery dates and together we’re gonna create something incredibly special right here at Keetac,” said Burritt.

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