Iron Range company gets $400M iron ore contractby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — An Iron Range company that recycles taconite tailings has secured a $400 million deal to provide iron ore concentrate to a Mexican steel producer.
Magnetation Inc. has just completed financing that will help the company upgrade its Keewatin processing plant -- pushing capacity there from about 160,000 metric tons to 450,000 metric tons of iron concentrate a year.
The increased capacity is destined to supply Mexican steel producer Alto Hornos de Mexico, known as Ahmsa. Shipments will begin in January of 2012.
Magnetation Vice President Matthew Lehtinen said the ore will make the 1,500-mile journey by train.
Magnetation has already ramped up employment to 50 workers.
"Once the equipment additions are complete, we'll be adding effectively about 24 more jobs in the form of trucker," Lehtinen said.
Magnetation uses magnetic separators to get the ore from old mining waste. Magnetation's primary customer is Mesabi Nugget of Hoyt Lakes. This new contract spans 7 years.