Mining

Highway 53 Bridge Dedicated to Late State Rep. Tom Rukavina

On Thursday, the bridge he fought so hard to build back in 2017 was officially dedicated to him.

VIRGINIA, Minn. — “He often urged people to buy American-made products. In fact, he would tell you even his underwear was made in the U.S.A by union workers. If you didn’t believe him, he would volunteer to prove it to you,” District 6 Senator, David Tomassoni says. Former Minnesota House Representative Tom Rukavina passed away two years ago after a…

Workers Hold Rally Against Potential Vaccine Mandates

HIBBING, Minn.– Hundreds of people gathered in Bennett Park in Hibbing on Wednesday to hold a rally asking for a choice when it comes to vaccinations in the workplace. Cleveland Cliffs Inc. is the second largest steelmaker in America with 25,000 employees. According to Bloomberg, Cleveland Cliffs promised a $1500 bonus to employees who get vaccinated, and they could get…

City Leaders Hoping for Larger Voter Turnout in Municipal Primary

The municipal primary will be held Tuesday, August 10th.

DULUTH, Minn. — Duluth’s municipal primary is just a few weeks away and city leaders are pushing for a larger turnout. The city council at large, city council second district and city council fourth district seats are up for grabs come November. With early voting now open at city hall, officials say in a comparable election back in 2017, they…

Mesabi Metallics Acquires Land in Itasca County

NASHWAUK, Minn. – Mesabi Metallics announced Tuesday it has bought 3,200 acres of land from Butlertac Holdings LLC. According to a company press release, the acquired land interests include both mineral and surface leases as well as a combination of undivided and whole-fee interests, all lying within the Biwabik Iron Formation in the vicinity of the former Butler mine corridor…

US Steel Interested in Developing Mineral Leases Near Nashwauk Mine Site

NASHWAUK, Minn. – U.S. Steel announced on Thursday that it is interested in developing mineral leases near the incomplete Nahwauk mine site. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has started the process of terminating leases for the Mesabi Metallics iron ore mining project in Nashwauk after the company did not meet critical and required benchmarks by the agreed May 1…

Minnesota DNR Moving Forward With Terminating Mesabi Metallics Leases

NASHWAUK, Minn. – On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced they would be moving forward with terminating leases with Mesabi Metallics at their proposed project site in Nashwauk. The decision comes after Mesabi Metallics did not meet the terms of their agreement with the DNR to meet “critical and required benchmarks by May 1.” “Today’s announcement validates everything…

MN Supreme Court Decision Delays PolyMet Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn.– The Minnesota Supreme Court made a major ruling on Wednesday, which could have a big impact on the future of the proposed $1 billion PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes. The justices confirmed a lower court’s decision to reverse PolyMet’s “permit to mine” for now, adding that the DNR should now set a fixed time period for…

EPA Review Faults Permitting for Proposed Minnesota Mine

MINNEAPOLIS-An internal Environmental Protection Agency investigation has found that the federal agency mishandled its oversight of permits for what would be Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. The findings released Wednesday describe a flawed review of two permits issued for the $1 billion mine that PolyMet Mining Corp. wants to build near lakes Babbitt and Hoyt, which are about 200 miles northeast…

Regulators Suspend PolyMet’s Wetlands Permit for Mine

The suspension means five major permits for the $1 billion PolyMet project are now stayed or under review.

  MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A federal regulator has suspended the PolyMet Mining Corp.’s permit to dredge more than 900 acres of wetland for Minnesota’s first copper mine. The ruling is a victory for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa which attempted to protect Indigenous water quality standards as a “downstream state” under the Clean Water Act. The…

U.S. Rep. Stauber Hears Iron Rangers’ Hopes to Bring Critical Minerals Mining to Region

In what he called a community conversation in Aurora, MN, the Congressman heard feedback which he plans to bring back to Washington D.C.

AURORA, Minn.- 8th District Congressman Pete Stauber stopped by the Aurora Community Center Monday for a town hall style meeting with Iron Rangers, joining them in wanting to bring critical minerals mining to the Iron Range. “It’d be nice to see a new generation of people coming to the Iron Range to take on the next generation of mining,” said…

Minnesota Supreme Court Hands Victory to PolyMet Copper Mine

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed an appeals court’s rejection of a critical air emissions permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine and sent the case back for further proceedings. The court ruled Wednesday that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was not required under federal law to investigate allegations of “sham permitting.” The…

Minnesota Supreme Court Deals Blow to Minntac Iron Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court says regulators can apply strict drinking water standards to limit groundwater pollution from North America’s top-producing iron mine. The high court says the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency properly concluded that pollution seeping into groundwater from the Minntac mine has harmed waters covered by federal standards meant to protect drinking water. Reports…

ArcelorMittal USA Completes Sale to Cleveland-Cliffs

(AP Photo/Michel Euler) CLEVELAND, Oh. –  On Wednesday, ArcelorMittal announced the sale of ArcelorMittal USA to Cleveland-Cliffs has been completed. According to reports, the sale was for $1.4 billion in cash and shares. The deal, announced in September by the companies, makes Cleveland-Cliffs the largest flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellet producer in North America. “I would like to thank…

Hospitals Urging Community Members To Follow Safety Guidelines

Recent statistics show about 40% of all COVID-19 related hospitalizations in this region were reported during the first three weeks of November.

DULUTH, Minn. – This fall has been a very active time for spikes in covid-19 cases around the Northland. The latest numbers show September, October, and November with some of the highest rates for the transmission of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. That’s why area health professionals are urging everyone to follow safety guidelines to help slow…

Gun and Liquor Sales Spike Over Election Weekend

Some were stocking up on guns and champagne as the process played out.

DULUTH, Minn-  It’s been a highly emotional election season. As election results played out over the weekend some types of businesses in the Northland, like liquor stores and gun shops, saw a spike in sales. Strong feelings have been common with many people anxiously waiting for news about the presidential election results. Some were stocking up on certain items as…

Keewatin Taconite Plans to Restart Plant, Bring Back Workers

KEEWATIN, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Steel plans to bring back hundreds of workers at the Keewatin Taconite plant in northern Minnesota that was shut down in May due to a drop in demand for iron and steel during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Thursday. Dan Pierce, United Steelworkers union president for Keetac, said the company plans to begin recalling union…

U.S. Steel ‘Evaluating Potential Restart of Keetac’ by End of Year

KEEWATIN, Minn. – U.S. Steel says they are “evaluating a potential restart of Keetac by year-end.” The site has sat idle since May of this year due to the coronavirus pandemic leaving over 300 workers still without a job. “We continue to evaluate the timing around a potential restart of Keetac. Seasonality is a part of that decision process,” a…

Cleveland-Cliffs to Acquire ArcelorMittal

The deal is worth roughly $1.4 billion. 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – Cleveland Cliffs has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with ArcelorMittal to acquire all of the operations of ArcelorMittal and its subsidiaries. The deal is worth roughly $1.4 billion. Once the deal closes, Cleveland-Cliffs will be the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. The company will also be the largest iron ore…

Ruth House In Superior Needs Donations

Walking Ministries, which runs Ruth House, will soon open two new locations in Washburn and Burnett counties.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Ruth House in Superior is preparing its warming centers before those cold nights hit the Northland, but they are asking for the community’s help. The local organization currently has warming centers in both Duluth and Superior. The group is looking for donations of cots, blankets and, sleeping bags. They are also hoping members of the community…

Organizations Shed Light On National Recovery Month

The month was started to bring awareness and celebrate those in recovery from substance abuse.

DULUTH, Minn. – September is National Recovery Month. Recovery is real from many people who have dealt with substance abuse and the Thunderbird Wren Halfway House and Recovery Alliance Duluth are making sure that the journey doesn’t go unrecognized. The halfway house has been a safe haven for native and indigenous people battling with their dependence on drugs and alcohol….

Iron Range Mayors Endorse U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Lewis

"Mining is the engine that runs our economy. We don't have a lot of adversity in the city of Virginia," said Larry Cuffe Jr., mayor of Virginia.

EVELETH, Minn. – More than five Iron Range mayors endorsed President Trump for re-election during Vice President Mike Pence’s visit on Friday. Some of those politicians sat down for a round table discussion with republican U. S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis to talk about key issues impacting the area. The Iron Range can be mostly known for its mining industry….

Keetac Mine to Remain Indefinitely Idled

KEEWATIN, Minn. – U.S. Steel’s Keetac mine remains indefinitely idled amid the coronavirus pandemic. In April, it was announced that layoffs would begin for employees who have been at the mine for three years or less. Of the roughly 380 workers that have been laid off since May, about 40 of them are still able to work on special projects…

Minntac to Restart Production Lines Next Month

DULUTH, Minn. – U.S. Steel says they plan to restart production lines at its Minntac mine as early as next month. United Steelworkers Local 1938 representatives confirmed on Tuesday that production lines 6 and 7 are expected to restart on July 27. Operations for the lines were originally planned to be stalled until August. Union reps also say maintenance workers…

Opponents File New Challenge to Proposed Twin Metals Mine

MINNEAPOLIS-Opponents of the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota are suing to challenge the federal government’s renewal of the company’s mineral rights leases. The groups behind the new challenge lost an earlier lawsuit that claimed the Trump administration overstepped its authority by reversing an Obama administration decision not to renew the leases. The new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in…

Layoffs Announced at Minntac

MT. IRON, Minn. – Layoffs are expected at Minntac in the coming weeks according to United Steelworkers Local 1938. Union leaders say U.S. Steel confirmed layoffs will begin on May 10 and are expected to last about eight weeks for plant employees and 11 weeks for pit employees. The layoffs will affect about 260 employees. Currently, Minntac employs about 1,300…

Hibbing Taconite To Lay Off 650 Employees

Hibbing Taconite will be idling its plant in the beginning of May and laying off 650 of its 750 employees.  This comes after Northshore Mining announced hundreds of layoffs in Babbitt and Silver Bay, and Keetac Mine announced hundreds of layoffs in Keewatin. Below is the press release from ArcelorMittal USA, which manages Hibbing Taconite: Due to the unprecedented and…

Update: US Steel to Idle Keewatin Taconite During Pandemic Slowdown

U.S. Steel Plans to Indefinitely Idle the Keewatin Taconite Plant

  HIBBING, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Steel plans to indefinitely idle the Keewatin Taconite plant in northern Minnesota because of the drop in demand for iron and steel during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Thursday. Officials said the closure will affect 75 employees “near term,” but a total of 375 employees will be affected over the next month. In a…

Cleveland-Cliffs To Idle Northshore Mining; 470 Employees Affected

The Northshore Mining Plant employees 570, only 100 remain employed.

SILVER BAY, Minn.- Cleveland-Cliffs has announced it is idling two of its iron ore plants, including Northshore Mining in Silver Bay, which will be shutting down by the middle of this month. This will affect roughly 470 employees, a significant number for a city like Silver Bay with a population of only 1,800. Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said they’ve evaluated…

Minnesota Supreme Court Agrees to Hear PolyMet Permit Appeal

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear PolyMet Mining Inc.’s appeal of a ruling that canceled three permits needed for its proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. In January, the Minnesota Court of Appeals gave environmentalists a major victory by rejecting some of the most important permits for the planned…

Minnesota Court of Appeals Sends PolyMet Permit Back to MPCA

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals sent an air-emissions permit for the PolyMet copper-nickel mine back to state regulators for further review on Monday, giving another victory to environmental groups who oppose the project. The appeals court found that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency did not adequately evaluate whether the air permit requested by PolyMet was…

Clean Water Advocates Applaud Halt of Key PolyMet Permits For Copper-Nickel Mine

DULUTH, Minn. – Environmentalists and advocates of clean water gathered in Duluth Monday to celebrate the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ ruling to put a halt on two crucial permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes. Leaders from WaterLegacy, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and even Duluth City Councilor Joel Sipress were among those praising…

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…