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DNR: Essar Has No Credibility With Agency

The DNR is responding to the report on WDIO involving a consultant from Essar. The DNR is responding to the report on WDIO involving a consultant from Essar. |  Photo: WDIO File

Updated: June 07, 2019 09:52 AM

A day after a consultant for Essar talked to WDIO News about interest in the Mesabi Metallics project, the DNR is responding with some strong words.

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On Wednesday, Ron Dicklich, on behalf of Essar, said that Essar and its proposed partners want to sit down with the state and explain the commitments, in order to get an extension on the construction deadline of the pellet plant. That deadline is December 31st, 2019 in the state's mineral lease agreements.

Deputy Commissioner Barb Naramore said, "For the DNR to even consider an extension to the lease deadlines, we first need to be working with a credible owner and operator capable of completing the project."

She went on to say, "...Essar has absolutely no credibility with the DNR. This cannot be overstated." 

DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen started the proceedings to debar Essar from doing business in the state of Minnesota in January.

Naramore went on to say, "We strongly advise Mesabi Metallics to position itself as or with a credible or controlling owner and operator, capable of securing the necessary construction funding, before it is too late."

Essar hopes to finish the half built mine and pellet plant. But Essar was in control and filed for bankruptcy back in 2016, which has lead to years of legal battles and debate over mineral leases.

To view the whole statement: https://www.wdio.com/TWIM/dnrs-full-statement-on-nashwauk-mining-project/5380453/?cat=10363

Mesabi Metallics declined to comment on Thursday night.

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

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