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Magnetation Celebrates Opening of 'Plant 4,' 160 Jobs Expected

Updated: 05/22/2014 11:17 PM
Created: 05/22/2014 7:39 PM WDIO.com

Magnetation decided against a ground-breaking ceremony for their fourth plant, since that would have meant bringing people out in sub-zero temps in December.

On Thursday, they hosted a celebration that had the backdrop of the impressive progress of the massive Plant 4 behind them. And it was a balmy 65 degrees or so.

The steel structure will be a $155 million dollar investment, and is located behind Mt. Itasca, just west of Coleraine. About 200 construction workers are on-site now, and that will ramp up.

Plant 4 will have the capacity of two million tons of concentrate, which will be sent by rail to their pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.

"We are three months away from making pellets there," shared Matt Lehtinen, Chief Operating Officer.

At the Plant 4 site, the company is now set to mine old iron ore tailings ‎in the Canisteo mine area, which opened in 1907. Iron ore from there helped the US win WWI and WWII. But the last time concentrate came out of this area was 1984.

"So like the blooms in the spring, new life is coming back to this mine," Lehtinen told the crowd.

The plan is to be up and running in January of 2015.

At least 160 full time jobs will come with it. Lehtinen said the average pay of their mining jobs is $90,000.

Magnetation opened their first plant in Keewatin in 2009, and has since opened two more. One is a partnership with Steel Dynamics, called Mining Resources.

Because of their commitment to bringing jobs to the area, using one of our precious resources, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed Thursday, March 22nd, "Red Ore Renaissance Day."

After Plant 4, Magnetation plans on mining and possibly processing in the Calumet area.

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