Mining

Canadian Based Oil Company Buys Out Calumet

A Deal Worth Nearly 500 Million Dollars

SUPERIOR, Wis. – One of Superior’s largest employers, Calumet Oil Refinery, is being sold to a Canadian company. “This is a key wonderful addition to our asphalt business into our integrated corridor in North America.” Jerry Miller, U.S. Refining, Vice President The new owner, Husky Energy tells Fox 21 they plan to keep the roughly 180 workers at the refinery. “We’ll…

Duluth for Clean Water Asking for Polymet Evidentiary Hearing

Organizers Will Send Letter to Governor, DNR Next Week

DULUTH, Minn. – Discussions for and against a proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in Northeast Minnesota continues. On Sunday, a Duluth environmental group held an event to gain support. According to Duluth for Clean Water officials, decisions could be made later this year on whether permits to mine are granted to the proposed PolyMet project. Before that happens, some in Duluth…

Mining, BWCA Supporters Make Final Cases in Copper-Nickel Land Use Debate

Virgina High School was packed Tuesday for the last public hearing in front of the U.S. Forest Service

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The auditorium at Virginia High School was packed this evening with hundreds showing up to voice their opinions of the U.S. Forest Service’s proposal to withdraw 234,000 acres of federal land around the boundary waters that would be used for future copper–nickel mining. It’s an issue that’s been debated back and forth, ever since the forest service…

Copper Mining Fight Near BWCA Heats Up

Meeting to be Held in St. Paul Tomorrow

MINNEAPOLIS–The fight over whether to allow copper–nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northeastern Minnesota is shifting to St. Paul. The U.S. Forest Service is opening a new set of public meetings on its proposal to bar minerals exploration and development on more than 234,000 acres near the pristine wilderness for up to 20 years. The first meeting…

Nolan Gets Hearing on Bill to Push Through PolyMet Land Swap

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan gets a hearing this week on his bill to push through a land exchange needed for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. It’s one of four land exchange bills the House Subcommittee on federal lands will consider Friday in Washington. PolyMet wants to swap 6,650 acres of federal land it needs…

Mesabi Metallics Laying Off Half Their Staff

Opportunities Await Employees at Grand Rapids Plant

NASHWAUK, Minn. – Mesabi Metallics has announced it is reducing its workforce in half at its newly acquired facility in Nashwauk from 50 to 25 workers. Recently the company was bought up by Chippewa Capital Partners during bankruptcy proceedings. The mine in Nashwauk is not yet completed, but instead of current company employees finishing it, a third-party will be hired….

Nolan Bill Would Force Completion of PolyMet Mine Land Swap

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – U.S. Representative Rick Nolan has introduced a bill to force completion of a land swap needed for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. PolyMet is welcoming the move, saying the transaction hasn’t been moving forward as fast as it could. But it’s being criticized by environmental groups, which say the deal undervalues the land and…

Environmentalists Criticize Changes to PolyMet Mine Design

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – An environmental group says the design for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota has changed in significant ways that require regulators to take a fresh look. WaterLegacy cities changes in the mine’s tailings basin and wastewater treatment facilities, and a new disclosure of how much water would be pumped from the mine, in requesting a…

Minnesota Leaders Approve Deal for Pellet Plant, Ore Project

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota leaders have approved a lease agreement with a company that indents to complete construction on a pellet plant and another facility to produce high-grade iron ore. Minnesota Public Radio reports the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state auditor approved the agreement Monday with Chippewa Capital Partners. The deal gives the company and…

Justice Department Moves to Dismiss Twin Metals Mineral Rights Lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) – The Justice Department has moved to dismiss lawsuit challenging an Obama administration decision against renewing mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. In a motion late Monday, the Justice Department says the federal district court in Minnesota lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, and that it must be brought in…

Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Rejection of Fracking Permit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a Trempealeau County decision denying a permit to open a new sand mine for use in hydraulic fracking. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against Iowa-based AllEnergy Corporation. It had argued that a Trempealeau County environmental and land use committee in 2013 wrongly denied its permit to open the…

United Taconite Officially Reopens

Officials Cut Ribbon on Facility Producing Mustang Pellets

FORBES, Minn. – Lawmakers and officials from Cliff’s Natural Resources had reason to celebrate, as they cut the ribbon on the re-opened United Taconite facility. “We are truly celebrating here today the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America sending a brand new mustang pellet to the largest blast furnace in the United States,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar…

Two-Year Study Proposed for Copper-Nickel Mining in BWCA

Study Still Up in the Air

ST. PAUL, Minn.-U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum says she has won assurances from the Trump administration that it will proceed with a two-year study on whether copper-nickel mining should be permitted on federal lands in the watershed that flows into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The Minnesota Democrat pressed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the scientific review, which was launched under…

IRRRB Announces Ilmenite Breakthrough

New Processing Method Produces Nearly Pure Samples

DULUTH, Minn. – Officials from the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute announced a breakthrough in ilmentite processing Thursday. NRRI partnered with Canadian firm Process Research Ortech to find a way to separate titanum dioxide and iron oxide from ilmenite deposits. The results, nearly pure samples of both titanium oxide and iron oxide.  But, officials say they’re a long…

New Publication Highlights Community Connections

Magazine Insert Links Duluth and Iron Range

DULUTH, Minn. – The Iron Range and Duluth are connected by more than geography, and officials are proud to showcase those connections. A new magazine insert published by the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board and other partners showcases the entire region, from the Range to Duluth. IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips says the connection between the communities affects everyone even…

State Receives Revised PolyMet Permits

ST. PAUL, Minn. – PolyMet Mining Inc., has submitted two revised Dam Safety Permit applications, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The applications address the Flotation Tailings Basin and the Hydrometallurgical Residue Facility for the proposed NorthMet Project near Hoyt Lakes. Changes made to the applications were based on feedback provided by DNR technical experts and external consultants. These…

Minnesota DNR to Hold Metallic Minerals Lease Sale

Public bid scheduled for June 9 at 8:30 a.m.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is initiating the sale of leases for state-owned metallic minerals in Beltrami, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, and St. Louis Counties. The total amount of land up for lease is 195,324 acres. The lease sale involves nonferrous minerals, which are all metals, such as copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, gold,…

Enbridge Says it Has No Plans for a New Wisconsin Pipeline

WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) – An oil pipeline company says it has no plans to add another pipeline through Wisconsin despite environmentalists’ speculation. The Janesville Gazette reports that Enbridge Energy’s Line 61 through Rock County is approved by the state to pump up to 1.2 million barrels of oil each day to Chicago and southern oil refineries. The line’s pumping volume…

Cliffs Revenue Report is a Mixed Bag

Revenue is Down $30 million this year

DULUTH, Minn.-Cliffs Natural Resources released its first quarter results today which had a few surprises. Despite the increase from last year, the company operated with a net loss of $30 million over the last three months. Cliffs said in a statement today, that even though they have lost money, they have already reduced their debt to $1.6 billion compared to…

Essar-Magnetation Deal in Works

Could be Finalized May 22

DULUTH, Minn. – Essar Steel of Minnesota’s project in Nashwauk got some new life yesterday as Chippewa Capital Partners won the bid to run it, which was worth about $300 million. Chippewa is owned by Tom Clarke, of the state of Virginia, who also bought out the bankrupt Magentation ore plant in Grand Rapids. The plans now are to merge…

Trump Orders Probe into Whether Steel Imports Harm US

Trump Looks into Whether Steel Imports Hurt National Security

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump is directing the administration to investigate whether steel imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. In the Oval Office on Thursday, Trump signed a memo ordering the investigation while surrounded by executives from U.S. steelmakers. A 1960s trade law gives the president authority to restrict imports if they are determined to be harmful to U.S….

Mining Industry Report Indicates High Wages for Jobs

Tourism Jobs Found to be Low Paying

DULUTH, Minn.-A recent study about the mining industry’s impact on the Northland has revealed some startling statistics. According to a report from the Praxis Strategy Group, mining supports about 5,100 jobs in the area, while tourism accounts for 6,400. The mining jobs pay out at average rate of $82,000 a year, while tourism sits at $18,000 a year. “The region tails…

Industry Leaders Talk Future of Mining at Annual Conference

THE SME Conference in Duluth is generating a lot of discussion about where the mining industry is headed

DULUTH, Minn. – Mining industry leaders are in Duluth this week as part of the 90th annual SME Conference at the DECC. The conference features more than 200 companies showing off the latest trends in mining and plenty of discussion about where the industry is headed. “We truly believe we can mine here, we can keep it local, use our…

House Votes to Allow Line 3 Pipeline to Bypass Regulation

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republican lawmakers have approved an amendment that would let Enbridge Energy bypass the Public Utilities Commission and build a replacement for its aging Line 3 oil pipeline. It passed largely along party lines Thursday by a vote of 75-57. Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington amended his jobs and energy bill to allow Enbridge to…

Sen. Klobuchar Takes on Chinese Steel

The Senator is Hoping for a Bipartisan Solution

DULUTH, Minn. – President Donald Trump met with the president of China today to talk about a number of issues including illegal steel entering the U.S. market from China. FOX 21 spoke with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar today about the issue and she believes a number of factors are in play when controlling steel that’s imported. One such policy is having higher…

Mesabi Metallics Gets New Life

Construction Could Begin by June 1

NASHWAUK, Minn.-Mesabi Metallics partially built plant in Nashwauk got some new life yesterday as a Delaware judge ordered that they can use up to $5 million, that had been locked up in a bankruptcy case. According to court documents, the company may lose some environmental permits if they do continue construction by June 1. The company was formally known as…

Route 53 Bridge Ahead of Schedule

New Bridge Will be State's Tallest

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The new bridge on U.S. Route 53 is ahead of schedule. The new bridge, which will be the tallest in the state, should open sometime in August, not November as originally planned. Virginia’s Mayor, Larry Cuffe, Jr. says the new bridge benefits the Iron Range as a whole. “It’s a large bridge that really connects the economic…

Suit Filed in Federal Court to Overturn Forest Service Decision on Land Exchange with PolyMet

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), the Center for Biological Diversity, and the W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League filed suit in federal court on Monday, March 27, to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to approve a land exchange with PolyMet Mining. According to the suit filed, the Forest Service instructed its…

DNR Gives Western Wisconsin Sand Plant Preliminary OK

(Photo: Courtesy of Hi-Crush Partners)MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Department of Natural Resources has given a timber company subsidiary preliminary approval for a sand plant in western Wisconsin that would destroy more than 16 acres of wetlands. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the DNR notified Meteor Timber of the approval on Wednesday. The agency has set an April 18…

Cliffs Natural Resources Receives Business of the Year Award

The company received the Business of the Year award from the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce.

DULUTH, Minn. – Cliffs Natural Resources celebrated its 170th anniversary, as well as a pretty important award. Cliffs has been named business of the year by the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce. The company said their moving forward and making decisions to be around for another one hundred years. The award was given by the chamber that represents several iron range…

Judge Allows Environmentalists to Intervene in Twin Metals Lawsuit

ST. PAUL (AP) – A federal judge has approved an environmental group’s request to intervene in a lawsuit over mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel min near Ely in northeastern Minnesota. Judge Susan Richard Nelson said in a ruling, Tuesday, that Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness meets the legal requirements for becoming a defendant in the lawsuit. Twin…

Judge Allows Environmentalists to Intervene in Mine Lawsuit

Hope in Trump to Help Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)-A federal judge has approved an environmental group’s request to intervene in a lawsuit over mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely. Judge Susan Richard Nelson said in a ruling Tuesday that Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness meets the legal requirements for becoming a defendant in the lawsuit. Twin Metals Minnesota filed the…

Garbage, Human Waste at DAPL Camps Main Concerns of Polluting Missouri River

THE GARBAGE ISN'T THE ONLY THING THAT MAY MAKE ITS WAY TO THE RIVER AND CREATE A NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Governor Burgum’s concerns for cleaning up at the main pipeline protest camp rise along with the temperatures. He issued an evacuation order on Wednesday. He says what protesters have left behind could end up polluting the rivers. Protesters left their mark on the site of the Dakota Access pipeline. That area of land floods almost every spring….

County Board Shows Support for National Forest Mining and Fighting Invasive Species

DULUTH, Minn.-The St. Louis County Board today approved a resolution in support of copper mining in Superior National Forest and funding to fight aquatic invasive species. The copper mining resolution calls on Trump’s administration to reverse President Obama’s decision to block mining in 234,000 acres of the forest. Last week, commissioners heard arguments on both sides of the issues, and…

River Gala Held Tonight

St. Louis River Alliance Celebrates 21 Years

Duluth, Minn The St. Louis River Alliance held a gala tonight to celebrate 21 years of work on the river after it was deemed an area of concern after years of dumping uncontrolled pollution in 1987. The alliance was formed as a nonprofit organization in 1996 to oversee the activities and practices that are helping to restore the St. Louis…

Cliffs Announces Huge Fourth Quarter

Revenues Up 58 Percent from Last Year

DULUTH, Minn.-Final financial reports released today for Cliffs Natural Resources revealed a huge fourth quarter for them. Revenues were up to $754 million this quarter for the ore pellet manufacturer, which is an increase of 58 percent compared to last year. Overall revenues were up five percent for the company in 2016 topping out at $2.1 billion. The C-E-O of…

Updated Water Appropriation Permit Application from PolyMet Received by DNR

Technical experts with the DNR will now review the updated applicaion

ST. PAUL – PolyMet Mining, Inc. has submitted their updated water appropriation permit application to the Department of Natural Resources. This updated permit application includes a request for an appropriation from Colby Lake. Technical experts from state, local, and tribal governments associated with the DNR will review the updated application, and it will be considered with the previously received applications…

St. Louis County Closer to Supporting National Forest Mining

Commission Approved Preliminary Resolution 4-3

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County commissioners are one step closer to approving a resolution in favor of copper mining in the Superior National Forest. Commissioners heard arguments both for and against the resolution, which calls on the Trump administration to reverse President Obama’s decision to block copper mining in more than 234,000 acres of the forest. Some, came from…

Community Forum Fights Poverty

Ending Economic Inequality

DULUTH, Minn. – Community leaders held a round table discussion on the issues surrounding poverty in the Northland and throughout the world. The discussion was centered around the ways economic inequality can be addressed and how new economic initiatives might help in the fight to end poverty. The discussion was put on by Basic Income Guaranteed Minnesota, an organization that…

Protesters Oppose Mining in National Forest

Crowd Gathered Outside Congressman Nolan's Office Following Recent Announcement

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s downtown Duluth office Thursday. Earlier in the week, Rep. Nolan coming out in favor of reversing the Obama Administration decision which blocked mining in more than 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest.  These acres are close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which has…

Soudan Underground Mine Hoping Bonding Bill Passes

The mine is set to receive $3 million to repair sections of the mine's shaft and remove other debris.

According to the Minnesota DNR, a popular Northland tourist attaction is need of an upgrade so it can last for future generations. Minnesota’s oldest mine, the Soudan Underground mine, is hoping to get money from Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal. Visitors can tour the mine and see firsthand how mining formed the backbone for the region’s economy. The hoist tells a…

Highway 53 Relocation Ahead of Schedule

New highway expected to open in November

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Last fall, work began on the Highway 53 relocation project near Virginia. Plans call for the new roadway to be open to traffic this November. But so far, the work is moving along. The colossal new Highway 53 bridge towers above Rouchleau Pit near Virginia. “You’re looking at the completed span of the bridge now. We got…

Public Scoping for Proposed Withdrawal of Federal Minerals in Rainy River Watershed

U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will conduct

DULUTH, Minn. – Today, January 13, 2017, the U.S. Forest Service published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to study the proposed 20-year withdrawal of federal minerals on the Superior National Forest within the Rainy River Watershed. An EIS is a document that is required by the National Environmental Policy…

Essar Minnesota Sues Essar Global

$1 Billion Involved in Lawsuit

NASHWAUK, Minn.-Essar Steel of Minnesota has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Essar Global, the company that owns it. Essar of Minnesota is claiming they paid their parent company about $1.1 billion to complete a mine and processing plant in Nashwauk. The Minnesota-based group said not all the money went toward the plant, leaving them with a half-finished plant. Some…