Leaders in Itasca County support amended leases for Mesabi Metallics

Updated: December 01, 2020 07:01 PM
Created: December 01, 2020 04:46 PM

Itasca County leaders affirmed their support for the Mesabi Metallics project and the proposed amendment to the state mineral leases.

Ben DeNucci, chair of the Itasca County Board, said, "It's a different structure. Different players. Plus there's conditions they added based on the mistakes from the past. And at the end of the day, this is the proposal we have on the table."

"This is permitted all the way to steelmaking. We can't lose sight of the value added portion," DeNucci added. "We asked for support from the DNR about this. There was some reluctance about this. It's taken a long time to get to this point."

He said the agreement means $1 million dollars for Itasca County, $1.3 million for the Nashwauk-Keewatin and Greenway schools, and Nashwauk gets $660,000, within the next few months. Plus $5 million for the University and $1.1 million for the school trust fund. "We need to move forward."

The Executive Council is expected to vote on Wednesday morning. DeNucci said he and several others are going to be testifying.

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