Mining

Minnesota to Do State Review of Proposed Twin Metals Copper-Nickel Mine

MINNEAPOLIS-Minnesota officials say they will do a state environmental impact statement for a proposed copper-nickel mine upstream of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Department of Natural Resources announced the move Friday, saying a credible and neutral assessment of the proposed Twin Metals mine depends upon both state and federal environmental reviews. Environmentalists have warned that the proposed mine…

U.S. Steel Eliminates a Number of Non-Union Positions at Minntac, Keetac

DULUTH, Minn. – Officials with U.S. Steel say they have eliminated a number of non-union positions at their Minntac and Keetac facilities. The company made the decision following the announcement of their new operating structure on October 8 as well as “challenging market conditions.” The company released a statement Friday afternoon saying in part: “This was a necessary step in…

Big Changes on Horizon for Soo Locks

DULUTH, MN – “The impact of the Soo Locks is felt nationwide,” Congressman, Pete Stauber says. That statement was the theme of today’s press conference where future improvement plans for the locks were announced. It’s not unusual for more than seventy thousand tons of iron ore to be carried on a vessel using the locks. That is not even the…

MN DNR Draws $1,000,000 From Metabi Metallics Funds for Permit Violations

DNR Says They Will Pursue Additional Actions as Necessary

NASHWAUK, Minn. – According to a recent press release, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has pulled $1,000,000 of financial assurance funds from Mesabi Metallics Company, LLC to address ongoing permit violations. The Minnesota DNR says companies must provide the DNR with financial assurance funds as part of obtaining a permit to mine which can be used to correct violations…

Democrats Call for Suspending PolyMet Permits

18 Lawmakers Sent a Letter to Walz Wednesday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democratic state lawmakers want Gov. Tim Walz to suspend permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota to make sure they “were not rigged.” In a letter to Walz Wednesday, 18 lawmakers led by Sen. John Marty asked the governor to suspend the permits and direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to cooperate with…

Twin Metals Announces Use of ‘Environmentally Friendly’ Dry Stack Method for Proposed Mine

The Company Says This Will Eliminate Need for a Storage Pond

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Twin Metals Minnesota announced Thursday morning that they plan to use the environmentally friendly dry stack method to store leftover rock for their proposed copper-nickel mine southeast of Ely. The company says this method will eliminate the need for a storage pond and dam which are commonly used at conventional tailing facilities. The dry stack method…

Leaked Email Raises new Questions About PolyMet Water Permit

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A leaked email has raised new questions about how state and federal regulators handled a major permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The e-mail asks Environmental Protection Agency officials not to file written comments on the water quality permit during Minnesota’s public comment period, which had the effect of…

New Buyers Emerge for Old Magnetation Mining Sites

DULUTH, Minn.-An auction was conducted earlier this week in Minnesota bankruptcy court for ERP Iron Ore, formerly Magnetation, and it appears some buyers have emerged for its multiple mining sites on the Iron Range. Prairie View Minerals appears to be the top contender placing a bid at $1.95 million for a plant in Keewatin and a load out facility near…

Report: Iron Ore Trade Up Two Percent in May

Shipments of Iron Ore from U.S. Great Lakes Ports Increased Two Percent in May Compared to 2018

CLEVELAND – A new report released by the Lake Carriers’ Association shows shipments of iron ore from U.S. Great Lakes ports totaled six million tons in May, an increase of nearly two percent compared to a year ago. The new data is also four percent above the month’s 5-year average. Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 14.5 million tons, an increase of…

Responsible Industry and Economic Growth Panel at Reef Bar

Representatives from four Northland companies met to talk updates and industry.

DULUTH, Minn.- Representatives from Enbridge and PolyMet were part of a Panel Discussion at the Reef in Duluth on Monday. The two companies, as well as Laborers Local 1091 and Minnesota Power, talked about the increased demand for trades in Responsible Industry in our region. “I also hope they get a chance to think about how they can make a…

Industry Leaders Talk Future of Mining at 92nd Annual Minerals Conference

92nd annual conference held by SME Minnesota chapter.

DULUTH, Minn.- Future innovations and improvements in mining were among the topics discussed at the 92nd annual SME Minnesota Minerals Conference at the DECC on Monday. The theme of this year’s conference is “Mining for a Modern World.” Organizers brought together industry leaders who explored topics such as gold and surface mining. “They’re looking, as all of us are, to how…

Minnesota Legislators Listen to Constituents at Town Hall Forum

Representatives answered questions from constituents.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota lawmakers heard directly from the community at a Town Hall forum in Duluth. Politicians present were State Representative Liz Olson, Senator Erik Simonson, and MNDOT Commissioner Margaret Kelliher. They sat onstage at the Norshor Theater where they were  asked questions from constituents who wanted their voices heard. “I hope we can proceed with line 3 to get our…

Cleveland-Cliffs Delivers State of the Business

Business leaders, city and state officials gather in Chisholm.

CHISHOLM, Minn.- Chisholm business leaders, city and state officials, and employees heard a state of the business update from the iron ore mining company Cleveland-Cliffs. President, Chairman and CEO Lourenco Goncalves spent the beginning of his presentation detailing Cleveland-Cliffs’s growth since he took over in August 2014. But soon he delved into the environmental impacts of iron ore mining, clean steel-making…

One-On-One: Senator Rarick Talks Broadband, Infrastructure & Recreational Marijuana

FOX 21's Brett Scott Talks With Newly Elected State Senator Jason Rarick (R)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s newest state Senator, Jason Rarick, has now been on the job for a little over one week since being sworn into office Wednesday, February 6. “It was a long month of hard work with some nasty weather but we were all really excited when we saw the final results,” said Rarick. Senator Rarick recently came out…

One-On-One: Gov. Walz Talks Legalizing Marijuana, Mining & Infrastructure

FOX 21's Brett Scott Sits Down for a One-On-One Interview with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Nearly two months after being sworn into office, Minnesota’s 41st Governor, Tim Walz, is not holding back when it comes to environmental issues, recreational marijuana and infrastructure. “I’m a congressman from Southern Minnesota, I’m from Mankato, but I saw this as one Minnesota throughout my campaign,” said Governor Tim Walz. Walz is no stranger when it…

Federal Judge Lifts Hold on Lawsuits Against PolyMet Mine

Environmental Groups say the Deal Undervalues Federal Land

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal judge in Minnesota has lifted a hold that had been placed on four lawsuits challenging the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. Thursday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen doesn’t list next steps, but her decision to lift the stay means the cases can proceed. The lawsuits filed by environmental groups seek to block…

Environmental Groups Appeal PolyMet Mine Permits

PolyMet Says They can Mine Without Harming the Environment

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Environmental groups are appealing air and water permits approved for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The groups argue the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency ignored evidence that PolyMet intends to process more ore daily than called for in its air permit. And they argue the company’s water permit improperly allows pollutants to be discharged…

Minnesota Minimum Wage Hiking Up in 2019

Second Year Wage Goes Up With Inflation

DULUTH, Minn.- The New Year will bring some big changes for businesses, including an increase in the Minnesota minimum wage. Starting in January, the minimum wage will increase to $9.86 for large employers, and $8.04 for small employers. This will be the 4th year the wage has increased, but only the second where it has increased based on inflation, going…

Conservation and Clean Water Groups Appeal PolyMet Permits

The Appeals are Separate From Request Made in November

MINNEAPOLIS – Environmental groups have gone to court to challenge the state’s decision to grant key permits for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and its allies say the permits would allow PolyMet to threaten water quality downstream for centuries, that they fail to address safety concerns about the mine’s proposed waste…

Minnesota Officials to Announce PolyMet Mine Decision

Environmentalists Oppose the Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota officials are set to announce whether they are granting permits for a planned copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will announce its decision Thursday on permits sought for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. Environmentalists have opposed the mine for fear it could pollute pristine waters. PolyMet says…

Cleveland-Cliffs, Steelworkers Reach Contract Agreement

HIBBING, Minn. (AP) –  Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the United Steelworkers have reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year contract. The Cleveland-based company and the union announced the deal Sunday. The proposed contract takes effect Monday and covers about 1,800 union workers at Cliffs’ Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan and its United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota….

Komatsu Mining to Build new Headquarters in Milwaukee

The Project Expected to Complete in 2022

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Komatsu Mining Corp. says it plans to build a new headquarters and manufacturing campus in Milwaukee, a project that will bring about 440 jobs to Wisconsin’s largest city. The state’s economic development agency has pledged to make $59.5 million in state income tax credits available to the company over the next 12 years if Komatsu meets job-creation…

Cleveland Cliffs Provides Update on Projects

Chairman, President and CEO Calls Press Conference

FORBES, Minn.- In the midst of a legal battle with Mesabi Metallics, and days after suing the DNR, Cleveland Cliffs Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves passionately talked of the company’s future plans, at a press conference today. Among the topics discussed was an update on the steelworkers’ potential strike situation. Rather than a strike, Goncalves wants to strike a…

Dayton Discusses Development of Mesabi Metallics Site

Governor and Local Politicians Meet at Nashwauk City Hall

NASHWAUK, Minn.- Nashwauk City Hall, abuzz with anticipation as Governor Mark Dayton updated local officials about the Mesabi Metallics proposed iron ore pellet mine. In a meeting closed to press, Dayton says he’s been promised by Mesabi’s CEO that reconstruction of the site will start in March of 2019. “My mother used to say actions speak louder than words,” said…

Local Steelworker Unions Vote to Authorize a Strike

Strike could come if union officials call one after upcoming negotiations with U.S. Steel

KEEWATIN, Minn. – After months of negotiations, no deal has been reached between U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers union. Now, local unions are voting to authorize a strike. Monday, workers from the MinnTac mine in Mountain Iron voted unanimously to authorize a strike. Tuesday, workers at the KeeTac mine in Keewatin voted to do the same. If a strike…

No Agreement Between Union, U.S. Steel as Deadline Approaches

If no deal is done by midnight Saturday, workers will decide the next steps, including a possible strike

KEEWATIN, Minn. (AP) – U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers union have not reached a labor deal as the deadline on their contracts approaches. United Steelworkers Local 1938 says if a deal is not reached by midnight Saturday, workers will decide the next steps, which could include a strike. Workers believe the wage increases being offered aren’t enough after years…

Steelworkers Rally for Fair Raises

After Not Getting a Raise in Over Three Years, United Steelworkers Union Had Enough

VIRGINIA, Minn.- Chants rang out filled with passion, and even anger. Members of the United Steel Workers union Local 1938 gathered in Virginia to protest what they feel is an insulting and unfair contract offer. “The CEOs shouldn’t live a life of luxury while the middle class worker struggles to eat and pay his bills,” said Steelworker Richard Poskarbiewicz. The proposed…

DNR Rejects Petition for Fresh PolyMet Environmental Review

The Department of Natural Resources has rejected a clean water group's petition for an additional environmental review of the PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The Department of Natural Resources has rejected a clean water group’s petition for an additional environmental review of the PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. WaterLegacy argued in its request last month that critical details of the plan have changed so much since the final review was approved in 2016 that a supplemental environmental impact statement is needed….

UMD Political Science Professor Weighs in on Tuesday’s Primary Election

Primary Elections are Taking Place in Minnesota and Wisconsin Tuesday, August 14; Polls Close at 8:00 p.m.

DULUTH, Minn. – On Tuesday, August 14, residents in Minnesota and Wisconsin have the chance to make their voice heard during the 2018 Primary Election. Tuesday morning, Cindy Rugeley, UMD Associate Professor of Political Science, gave her insight on the importance of the primary election. Races up for grabs include Governor, Congress, Senate, Attorney General and many more local races….

Cleveland-Cliffs’ Nashwauk Land Acquisition Upheld in Court Ruling

The Acreage Acquired is Approximately 553 Acres

DULUTH, Minn. – Cleveland Cliffs announced Monday that the United State Bankruptcy Court reaffirmed the 2017 Cliffs acquisition of the land in Nashwauk. The ruling resolved the land dispute between Cliffs and Glacier Park Iron Ore Properties LLC ruling in favor of Cliffs. Cliffs now expects to be able to utilize the acquired real estate interests to implement a financially…

Group Seeks Another Environmental Review for PolyMet Mine

PolyMet is now Seeking Permits

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A clean water group has petitioned state and federal regulators for another environmental review for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The project has already undergone an extensive environmental review, and PolyMet is now seeking permits. But Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, says critical details have changed so much since what was…

Chippewa Capital Partners Satisfies Terms for Mineral Lease Reinstatement

Chippewa Capital Partners Needed to Secure $850 Million

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that Chippewa Capital Partners has satisfied all of the terms necessary to reinstate its state mineral leases, for a proposed Nashwauk mining project. “The project’s emergence from bankruptcy in December 2017 was an important step toward Chippewa Capital Partners’ goal of finishing the plant’s construction and beginning production,” Dayton said in…

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Leases for Planned Minnesota Mine

Nine Businesses have Sued the Interior Department

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski, File)MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nine Minnesota businesses that rely on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area have sued the Interior Department, challenging its decision to reinstate the federal mineral rights leases for the planned Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely. The lawsuit filed in federal court in the District of Columbia on Thursday says the department’s decision was unlawful…

Sen. Tina Smith’s PolyMet Land Swap Amendment Clears Senate

Land Exchange to Close on June 28

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A bill containing a provision from Sen. Tina Smith to complete a land exchange between PolyMet Mining Corp. and the federal government has cleared the Senate. The Minnesota Democrat’s amendment is part of a big defense bill that passed 85-10 Monday. PolyMet needs the land for its planned copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The company would get…

AICHO Unveils New Mural In Downtown Duluth

It took about four months to complete and the mural will officially be installed on the wall at a later date.

DULUTH, Minn. – The American Indian community housing organization’s second indigenous mural project in Duluth was unveiled. It’s located at 2301 W. Superior St. The mural is a collaboration with the College of Saint Scholastica’s Public Art Program. The artist says the inspiration behind the mural was housing, indigenous food systems and culture. “I would hope when people look at…

Honoring Maritime Day in the Twin Ports

National Maritime Day is Honored in the United States Annually on May 22

DULUTH, Minn. – Nearly 85 years ago on Tuesday, May 22, United States Congress declared May 22 National Maritime Day. National Maritime Day is a tradition for many and a day recognizing America’s Merchant Marine for their legacy of service and sacrifice, safeguarding our nation and its trade corridors during times of war and peace. Residents and visitors in the…

Northland Mines Expect Positive Impact from Tariffs

Officials say the tariffs will create a level playing field for mines in Minnesota.

DULUTH, Minn.- President Trump’s decision about steel and aluminum tariffs is bringing a lot of mixed reaction from the Northland. Mines in the Northland are expecting the steel and aluminum tariffs to have a positive affect in Minnesota.  Officials say Minnesota produces %85 of the domestic iron For the united state the tariffs could possibly bring more jobs to mines in…

Traveling Exhibits Offer Glance at Formation of St. Louis County

Northland Uncovered: St. Louis County Historical Society Traveling Exhibits

DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Louis County Historical Society is filled with stories of all the different cultures that have passed through and immigrated to the area. Now, historical society officials are hoping to share those stories with the Northland. The historical society has 16 traveling exhibits available for rent. Any organization can borrow them from schools and churches to…

Amnesty International Delegation Visits Duluth to Talk Mining Safety

Group Discussed 2014 Mount Polley Copper Mine Disaster in Canada

DULUTH, Minn. – A delegation from Amnesty International was in Duluth Monday sharing their experiences from the 2014 Mount Polley Copper Mine disaster in British Columbia, Canada. The delegation also met with local leaders to discuss the future of mining. They’re helping to lead a discussion about what regulations are being put in place to ensure safety if the proposed…

Congressman Rick Nolan to Retire After Current Term

Nolan Announced Retirement Friday Morning

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan has announced he will be retiring at the end of his term. Rep. Nolan made the announcement through a letter to the press Friday morning. Nolan has represented Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District since 2013. Previously, he represented Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District from 1975-1981. Rep. Nolan’s letter: “To the great people of Minnesota’s 8th District…

Public Meetings For PolyMet Permit to Mine Conclude In Duluth

The first meeting was held on Wednesday, Feb. 7 in Aurora.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are hosting the final public meeting  in Duluth surrounding the proposed PolyMet project. At stake are the permits needed for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt. PolyMet meetings continue in the Northland and today at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), hundreds are expected to voice their opinions on the NorthMet mining project….

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Details Growth In 2017 State of the Company

EVELETH, Minn. – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is starting 2018 with a goal of bringing more jobs to the Iron Range and to continue expanding operations. That was the talk of Cliffs’ 2017 State of the Company event in Eveleth. From the number of new jobs Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. brought to Minnesota to its financial performance, 2017 was a memorable year for the company. The Eveleth Auditorium was a…

Forest Service Downgrades Twin Metals Environmental Review

Governor Makes Statement on Issue

MINNEAPOLIS-The U.S. Forest Service is downgrading an environmental review for a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The Forest Service says it will do an environmental assessment, rather than an environmental impact statement, on Twin Metals’ proposed project. Supporters say the mine would bring hundreds of needed jobs. Opponents fear the mining could lead to sulfuric acid and other toxic…

Steel Workers Union Enters Into Agreement With Mesabi Metallics

Company Agrees Not to Interfere With Union Organization

NASHWAUK, Minn.-The United Steelworkers union has announced that they have entered into an agreement with Mesabi Metallics at the company’s Nashwauk taconite mining and processing site, which is still being built. The agreement will allow the USW to organize the Mesabi Metallics workers into the union without interference from the company. “The steelworkers have a long and deep history of…

Former Miners Create Book to Preserve Mining History

Northland Uncovered: Erie Mining Company

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – A three-year-long project is highlighting the hard work and legacy of a taconite plant that helped build a town. Former employees from Erie Mining Company are working together on a new project. They’ve been researching a writing a book detailing the beginning and end of the taconite plant. “We’re dying off. If we don’t do it…

Former Miners Create Project to Preserve History of Erie Mining Company

Traveling Exhibit to Open at St. Louis County Historical Society

DULUTH, Minn. – Former miners on the Iron Range are working together to ensure the legacy and history of the Erie Mining Company is never forgotten. A group of Erie Mining alum is writing a book with oral history recounts and information about the company throughout the years. The book will be distributed to libraries and stores around the Northland,…

Governor Mark Dayton Visits the Iron Range

Community Leaders Discussed Important Regional Projects with the Governor

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was on the Iron Range Wednesday. The Governor met with community leaders about issues important to Northern Minnesota. Increasing local government aid, funding various bonding projects, and moving the Polymet project forward were some of the important issues discussed with Governor Dayton. The Range Association for Municipalities and Schools, or RAMS, held…

Mine Supporters Sue to Void Dayton’s Order Against Twin Metals

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) _ A pro-mining group is suing to overturn an order by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton that dealt a blow to the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely. Dayton last March directed the Department of Natural Resources not to enter into any new access or lease agreements for mining operations on state-owned lands near the Boundary Waters…

Great Lakes Iron Ore Shipping Up 11 Percent in 2017

Highest Total Recorded Since 2012

 CLEVELAND-More than 60 million tons of iron ore were shipped on the Great Lakes in 2017, a 10.9 percent increase over 2016. It was the highest total recorded since 2012. The Lake Superior ports that go through the Soo Locks saw their loadings increase by 9.9 million tons, which is 23.6 percent. Shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence…

MPCA Proposes Denial of Minntac’s Water Quality Permit

Meeting to be Held Jan. 23 in Mountain Iron to Discuss Denial

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn.-The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has invited the public to make comments on a proposed denial of Minntac’s water quality permit at its Mountain Iron facility. A hearing is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Mountain Iron Community Center where reasons for the denial are presented. The denial directly impacts the site owned by…