Mesabi Metallics Takes Action to Protect its Right to Mine and Continue to Develop the Nashwauk Site

NASHWAUK, MINN. – Mesabi Metallics Company LLC (Mesabi Metallics) continued its efforts to complete its plan to mine ore, make pellets and produce iron in Nashwauk. On Friday, September 14, 2018, Mesabi Metallics asked a federal court to grant the company permission to mine and develop the land in which it holds a 50 percent interest.

Of the nearly 21,000 acres within the current mine boundary, Mesabi Metallics owns the surface and/or mineral rights to approximately 14,000 acres. Mesabi Metallics also holds long-term mineral rights leases on 6,000 acres. Cleveland Cliffs, a competitor of Mesabi Metallics, has ownership interests in less than 6 percent of the land in the current project boundary and has not sought or received permits to mine any of the land.

Under Minnesota State Statute 560.03, if a property owner owns one-half or more of the mineral land, the court must issue an order allowing that owner to mine the land. Mesabi Metallics and Cleveland Cliffs have 50-50 shares in 1040 acres, or approximately 5 percent of the project acreage.

In addition, Mesabi Metallics asserted that its mineral leases include the acres in which Cliffs holds sole and shared ownership interests and filed an appeal on August 27, 2018.

“Mesabi Metallics remains the only entity that retains a permit to mine as well as permits for air emissions, water appropriation, tailings basin, construction and processing, for the project site,” said Gary Heasley, interim Mesabi Metallics CEO. “Mesabi Metallics has made a substantial investment in developing a mine plan and securing all necessary permits, a process that takes many years and costs millions of dollars. Mesabi Metallics remains committed to finishing this project.”

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Mesabi Metallics Company LLC is dedicated to building a world-class iron ore operation in Nashwauk, Minnesota. Once completed, the facility will mine and produce 80 years of high-quality iron ore pellets for the global market.