Mining

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…

Minnesota Releases Critical Draft Permit for PolyMet

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A contentious copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota has taken another step forward with state regulators releasing a crucial draft permit for public comment. PolyMet Executive Vice President Brad Moore calls Friday’s release “a major milestone for the project” after more than 10 years of environmental review and permitting. The draft “permit to mine” includes a requirement that…

Minnesota Releases Crucial Draft Permit for Disputed Mine

Big Step Forward for Proposed Mine According to Experts

MINNEAPOLIS-A contentious copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota has taken another step forward with state regulators releasing a crucial draft permit for public comment. PolyMet Executive Vice President Brad Moore calls Friday’s release “a major milestone for the project” after more than 10 years of environmental review and permitting. The draft “permit to mine” includes a requirement that PolyMet provide a…

Cold Temperatures Causing Shipping Delays

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Port normally sees cold temperatures like these in January, but officials say it’s the most ice on the lake at this time of year since about 2001. The freeze is happening so early it’s starting to hamper some of the ship movement, particularly in Lake Erie, which is much shallower than Lake Superior. Ships that would…

Judge Pushes Back Timeline for Enbridge Line 3

(Garret Ellison | MLive)MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – An administrative law judge delayed approval of a divisive oil pipeline in northern Minnesota so the environmental impact statement can be revised. The decision from Judge Ann O’Reilly last week is a response to a Public Utilities Commission’s finding that the project’s impact statement was “inadequate.” The PUC on Dec. 7 gave the Department…

Feds Keep Proposed Minnesota Copper Mine Plan Alive

Trump Resurrects Efforts of Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The Trump administration has resurrected an effort to build the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. Last December, the Obama administration declined to renew the long-standing leases that the company needs for the underground mine it wants to build near Ely. But an in opinion published Friday, a top attorney at the U.S. Interior Department concluded…

Mining Ban Lifted on Gold and Silver in Wisconsin

Gov. Walker Signed Bill Today

MADISON, Wis.-Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill lifting Wisconsin’s moratorium on gold and silver mining. Walker voted to impose the moratorium when he was in the state Assembly in 1998. He signed the Republican legislation Monday anyway. His spokesman, Tom Evenson, has said Walker believes mining can be done without harming the environment. Under current state law, sulfide mining…

Cleveland-Cliffs Purchases Mining Property in Itasca County

Cliffs Trying to Create New Plans for Site

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn.-Cleveland Cliffs has completed the acquisition of real estate in Itasca County from Glacier Park Iron Ore Properties. The acquisition includes a combination of undivided and whole fee interest land, along with mineral and surface leases, which are found in the Biwabik Iron Formation. In total, they have acquired 553 acres and the acreage being leased is about…

Job Market Booming on Iron Range

Unemployment Rate Could Go Up in Winter

VIRGINIA, Minn.-Unemployment rates on the Iron Range have reached their lowest level since the millennium, reaching four percent in September. This comes on the heels of the mining industry gaining strength while also getting solid performances out of seasonal construction and tourism jobs. Local labor experts tell us the trend is expected to continue on. “It’s kind of expected for…

Locals Returning Home Thanks to New Job Opportunities

The job opportunities are allowing Northlanders to stay closer to home.

VIRGINIA, Minn.- The employment opportunities on the Iron Range, are allowing more Northlanders to stay where their roots are. “Everybody is employed, it’s a great thing for us and we’ve seen that economic boom,” Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe said. The mines are in full swing, the health care industry is also providing jobs for many workers. Mayor Cuffe said part…

Mining Could Become Easier To Do in Minnesota After House Passes Mining Focused Act

Mining Act Could Help Revitalize Twin Metals Mine

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Earlier today, an act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would make it easier to mine in Minnesota. “Mining has been a way of life for Minnesotans since the 1800s and is a crucial part of our state’s economy,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R), of Minnesota’s Sixth District, who also sponsored the bill. “Unfortunately, in its…

House Passes Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act, which finalizes a long-awaited land exchange in Northern Minnesota between the U.S. Forest Service and PolyMet Mining. The exchange has been undergoing seven years of review, and is key to the advancement of PolyMet’s copper-nickel mine project. The bill was forged by Rep….

Ore Shipments Way Up in Minnesota

Ore Shipments Up 770 Percent in Third Quarter

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Ore Exports have shot way up in the third quarter of 2017 in Minnesota. According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, they are up 770 percent which is equivalent to $135 million. The main reason for the increase is renewed interest from the markets in Canada and Japan. Overall exports of all products in the state…

Feds Head to Court to Seek Dismissal of Twin Metals Lawsuit

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Government lawyers go to federal court Tuesday to seek dismissal of a lawsuit by developers of the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine who are seeking to regain their mineral rights leases. The Obama administration last year declined to renew the longstanding leases that Twin Metals needs for the underground mine near Ely in northeastern Minnesota….

Superior’s Midwest Energy Fire Could Cost Company Nearly A Million Dollars

Fire On Belt System Has Shut Down Ability To Obtain Coal

SUPERIOR, Wis. Press Release Below: Members of the media: this is to inform you of a fire this morning in Superior. At 0530 all three engine companies, Battalion Chief and Gold Cross Ambulance were called for a fire at 2400 Winter street which is Midwest Energy. Once on scene crews found fire in the belt system used to move coal…

Legislative Committee Approves Lifting Mining Ban

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A legislative committee has signed off on a Republican bill that would end Wisconsin’s nearly 20-year ban on gold, silver, and nickel mining. Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill in 1998 that requires sulfide mining applicants to prove a similar mine has operated in North America for 10 years without causing pollution and a similar mine has…

MPCA Hosts Public Forum For Sulfate Regulations, Mining Supporters Not On Board

Could Cost Mining Town Millions To Upgrade

CLOQUET, Minn- The City of Cloquet became the location point for a public hearing involving new sulfate and wild rice standards proposed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. It’s a change mining supporters say is over the top and could severely hurt their operations and the economy on the iron range. However the agency says the proposed changes are spot…

Dayton Now in Support of PolyMet Copper-Nickel Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s moved from being “genuinely undecided” on the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine to being a genuine supporter of the project. Dayton tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press nothing of that magnitude is risk free, bu the thinks it’s a risk worth taking. However, he adds, PolyMet still must meet the…

Public Hearing Held for Enbridge Line 3

Protestors Storm Streets, Enbridge Hearing

DULUTH, Minn. – Wednesday night at the DECC, the hearing was divided, supporters from both sides stood shoulder to shoulder voicing concerns. The proposed line would replace 1,031 miles of pipeline, 337 miles of it will be built across Northern Minnesota. “It supplies about 80% of the crude oil that’s refined right here in the Minnesota refineries,” said Jessica Smith…

LCO Tribe Renews Agreement with Enbridge

(Garret Ellison | MLive)HAYWARD, Wis. – The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Enbridge Energy Partners during their Tuesday, Oct. 11 meeting, according to the DrydenWire.com. This new 25-year agreement allows Enbridge the right-of-way for two existing pipelines that cross over three miles of the southwestern corner of the reservation. The two lines…

Football fans come out for the border battle

Green Bay Packers squared off against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis

DULUTH, Minn. – Vikings and Packers fans were glued to their television sets on Sunday for the first border battle of the season. The Minnesota Vikings squared off against the Green Bay Packers at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. As always, the fans enjoy coming out as the rivalry rages on. “We all love the Vikings here, and they…

Lincoln Park Open House Happening Saturday

The event showcases the growing Lincoln Park Business District

DULUTH, Minn. – The Lincoln Park community in Duluth is getting ready to host their second annual Lincoln Park Open House. More than 30 businesses in the Lincoln Park area will be hosting special events and deals on Saturday. The event is meant to showcase the growing business community happening in the district. “There are a lot of things happening…

Wisconsin Legislatures Trying to Renew Sulfide Mining in State

Full State Senate Still Has to Vote on the Bill

MADISON, Wis.-A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would end Wisconsin’s sulfide mining moratorium. The Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry voted 3-2 to approve the bill Wednesday. All three Republicans on the committee voted for the bill. The two Democrats voted against it. Committee approval sets up a full Senate vote. Wisconsin lawmakers enacted legislation…

Northern Minnesota Counties Could Lose Some Enbridge Tax Money

Enbridge Looking to Get Back at Least $18 Million

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – County officials in northern Minnesota say they’re anxious about a property tax case involving Enbridge Energy that could force them to repay $18 million in tax revenue collected between 2012 and 2014. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Enbridge contends the state Department of Revenue began using new methodology in 2012 to determine the value of pipelines…

First Annual Bridge Days Community Walk Held in Virginia

Hundreds took a walk over the newly opened bridge

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Hundreds gathered in Virginia to take a walk over the newly constructed bridge there. It was the first annual Bridge Days Community Walk. People of all ages took the hike over to the bridge to get a look at some of the views the unique structure has to offer. “It is truly an amazing structure,” volunteer organizer…

Northlanders Take on Firefighter Challenge

The event had obsticle courses for kids and adults

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The Iron Range community had the chance to train like firefighters on Saturday. It was the first ever Firefighter Challenge at the Mesabi Family YMCA. The free event had challenge courses that kids and adults could test out their skills on. Competitors wore weighted vests and air packs to get an idea of what the Virginia and…

Enbridge Line 3 Opponents to Rally at Capitol Before Hearing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A series of 18 public hearings in nine cities on Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace its Line 3 oil pipeline has moved to the Twin Cities. At issue is whether the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should grant a certificate of need for replacing the 1960s-era pipeline, which carries Canadian crude from Alberta across Minnesota to…

Environmentalists Seek More Comment Time on PolyMet Permits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Environmental groups are asking the Department of Natural Resources to give the public more time to comment on the draft dam safety permits for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The latest request came Wednesday from four groups: WaterLegacy, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest, and the Izaak Walton…

Research Center Preserves Stories of Minnesota’s Iron Ranges

Northland Uncovered: Iron Range Research Center at Minnesota Discovery Center

CHISHOLM, Minn. -For hundreds of years mining has been the focus of life on the Iron Ranges of Minnesota. The Iron Range Research Center in the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm preserves the past of these areas in its archive collection. The mission of this department is to collect materials to interpret the human experience on all three of Minnesota’s…

New Lock Proposed at Soo Straights

Locks Connect Lake Superior to the Other Great Lakes and Beyond

DULUTH, Minn. – The Soo Locks at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan connect the Duluth and Superior shipping industry with the rest of the world, but the aging locks haven’t been updated in decades. The locks at Soo Straights connect Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes and beyond. The locks raise and lower ships so they can navigate…

New Highway 53 Bridge Dedicated

Bridge Near Virginia Will Soon Be Open to Traffic

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The new Highway 53 bridge is almost complete. It’s the tallest bridge in Minnesota. Soon it will be open to traffic. Iron rangers and state officials dedicated the new bridge to the public on Friday. “Are you ready to celebrate?” asked U.S. Representative Rick Nolan (DFL-Minn.) at the dedication ceremony. At over two hundred feet tall, the…

DNR Opens 30-Day Public Comment for Several PolyMet Draft Permits

(KQDS) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has opened a 30-day public comment period on the draft PolyMet dam safety and public works permits. From Sept. 15 through Oct. 16, the public can submit comments on two draft dam safety permits and a draft public waters work permit for the PolyMet Mining, Inc. NorthMet mining project. The DNR dam…

Enbridge Protestors Arrested In Superior

Blockade Set Up Prevented Construction Workers From Working

SUPERIOR, Wis. Protestors hoping to keep Enbridge workers from getting into their construction site on the line 3 replacement project Thursday morning are now in trouble with the law. In a dramatic scene, several protesters were arrested Thursday in Superior. One has been charged with disorderly conduct during the incident while three others were booked for resisting arrest and trespassing….

Mesabi Metallics and Cliffs Involved in Lawsuit

Both Companies Are Major Players in Ore Industry

DULUTH, Minn.-A lawsuit has developed on the Iron Range by two major players in the ore industry. Mesabi Metallics has filed a lawsuit against Cleveland Cliffs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Mesabi Metallics, which is trying to begin construction again on a Nashwauk mining project, is having trouble getting the funding to do so. They are alleging that Cliffs…

Chippewa Capital Gets Extension to Fund Nashwauk Mine

Mineral Leases Could go Back to DNR if Financing Deal Not Reached

NASHWAUK, Minn.-Chippewa Capital Partners has received a 30-day extension to find financing to complete construction of a Nashwauk mining project. Today, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said that if Chippewa can’t secure financing for the project, the permits to mine there could be lost. If that occurs, the Department of Natural Resources will regain control of the mineral leases there. “I…

Minnesota School Trust Land Exchange Discussed at First Public Meeting

The Forest Service would acquire 31,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust land in the Boundary Waters while the state would receive an equal value of federal land on the Superior National Forest

DULUTH, Minn. – The Forest Service held an open house in Duluth Monday to help inform the public about a proposed land exchange in Northeast Minnesota. As part of the deal, the Forest Service would acquire 31,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust land in the Boundary Waters. In return, the state would receive an equal value of federal land on…

Group Wants Hearing on Proposed Mine

Duluth for Clean Water Opposes Copper-Nickel Mining near Lake Superior

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of concerned citizens sent a message to Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday regarding PolyMet’s proposed copper–nickel mine. The group called Duluth for Clean Water wants an evidentiary hearing before a permit to mine is issued to PolyMet for its proposed site. Critics call the type of mining proposed the most toxic form of mining known in…