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DNR Seeking Debarment of Essar from Project in Nashwauk

The Minnesota DNR is seeking to debar Essar Global from doing business with the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota DNR is seeking to debar Essar Global from doing business with the state of Minnesota. |  Photo: WDIO

Updated: January 28, 2019 04:49 PM

A new move from the new Walz administration for the Mesabi Metallics project.

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On Monday, the new commissioner of the DNR sent a letter to Mesabi, saying they are seeking a debarment of Essar Global and any of its affiliates from doing business with the state of Minnesota.

Specifically, it said, "...please be advised that the DNR has begun the process of seeking debarment of Essar Global and any of its affiliates from doing business with the State of Minnesota..."

It also said, "The DNR has no confidence that Essar, if it were to take any operational, management, oversight, or even investor role in the Mesabi Metallics project, would act in good faith to ensure timely construction and professional operation of the project."

The letter cites the history of Essar failing to meet the construction and production milestones contained in the state mineral leases, failure to pay contractors, and approximately $64 million in unpaid debt to Itasca County.

Mesabi Metallics sent this statement: "Chippewa Capital Partners remains the sole owner of Mesabi Metallics. Construction on the site continues follow the timeline submitted to the DNR in early January, with an acceleration planned for this spring." 

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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