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Essar Steel Minnesota LLC
Keetac USS mine
Mesabi Nugget
ArcelorMittal Minorca
Thompson Cliffs Canada
United Taconite Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc
United States Steel Corporation Minnesota Ore Operations
NRRI_minerals_ lab_Coleraine

Essar Steel Minnesota LLC
555 W 27th Street Hibbing MN 55746
Telephone: 218-263-3331
Fax: 218-262-1497 Email: CorporateCommunications@EssarSteelMN.com
Essar Steel Minnesota is building a state-of-the-art Open Pit Mining, Concentrator and Pellet Plant operation which will be followed by a DRI plant and Slab Caster. Once operational, Essar Steel Minnesota will be the first fully-integrated mine through steel-making facility in North America. Our goal is to be the low cost producer of high quality steel. We are located on the west end of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota, and are adjacent to the community of Nashwauk.

Essar Steel Minnesota is part of Essar Steel, a global producer of steel with a footprint covering India, Canada, USA, Middle East and Asia. Essar Steel is a fully integrated flat carbon steel manufacturer from iron ore to ready-to-market products.

Our Story
Essar Steel Minnesota was acquired by Essar Steel Holdings Ltd in October 2007. Essar Steel is a global producer of steel with a footprint covering India, Canada, USA, Middle East and Asia. It is a fully integrated flat carbon steel manufacturer--from iron ore to ready-to-market products. Its products find wide acceptance in highly discerning consumer sectors, such as automotive, white goods, construction, engineering and shipbuilding. It is India’s largest exporter of flat steel products and aims to reach 25 MTPA capacity by 2012.
The Essar Steel Minnesota project will be a conventional open pit mining, concentrating and pellet plant operation followed by a DRI plant and slab caster. The company has secured the rights to mine perhaps the only iron ore body in North America capable of supporting low cost pellets. This unique deposit contains very coarse grains of iron and silica, a waste material that ends up in slag in the blast furnaces.
Large grain size is key because these coarse grains are easily—and economically—separated, so the resulting pellets contain very little silica. At 1.5-1.6% silica, Essar Steel Minnesota’s pellets compare very favorably to the Iron Range average of about 5% silica. Pellets will be processed onsite into direct reduced iron (DRI), an interim step in the company’s steelmaking process.
Low silica content is necessary because Essar Steel Minnesota will transform DRI into steel in an electric arc furnace (EAF), a low cost steelmaking method that cannot remove large amounts of silica.

Fact Sheet
Essar Steel Minnesota’s vertically integrated steel mill now can anticipate significant advantages over conventional iron ore mining and blast furnace operations, as well as mini-mill EAF facilities.
Iron ore pellets will be turned into DRI, which will be fed hot into the steelmaking furnace—saving energy and increasing productivity.
Coarse-grained ore makes recovering iron cheaper than in other pellet plant operations.
Less handling means less damage to pellets and DRI, which will improve yield.
Financial resources won’t be tied up in excess inventory.
Transportation will involve shipping a final product—not an iron ore pellet with up to 30% waste that requires significant further processing.
With these advantages, Essar Steel Minnesota will be the lowest-cost steel producer in the USA and potentially in North America
Energy savings in processing and transportation will result in significantly fewer air emissions compared to traditional iron ore mining and steelmaking.
DRI will be produced with clean burning natural gas.
The electric arc furnace offers significant environmental improvements over blast furnaces, which require coke—the making of which generates significant air emissions and waste.
Because no external scrap will be used in making steel, there will be no generation of waste often associated with contaminants found in scrap.
With access to rail, ship and trucking, Essar Steel Minnesota can offer rapid product delivery to meet today’s just-in-time inventory requirements— much quicker and at significantly lower cost than foreign producers attempting to serve North American markets.
As the low cost producer, Essar Steel Minnesota will be sustainable over the long term—positioned to weather the inevitable cycles in the steel markets that higher cost producers cannot.

Mesabi Nugget
Nugget plant breaking its own production records
Manager: Settlement with MPCA is from legacy issues
By CHARLES RAMSAY Regional Editor, May 12, 2011

Mesabi Nugget http://www.steeldynamics.com
The Mesabi Nugget Delaware LLC, iron nugget facility is under construction near Hoyt Lakes. Mesabi Nugget Delaware, LLC, is the world’s first commercial iron nugget plant. Operation is scheduled to begin in 2009. Iron nuggets produced at the facility will feed electric arc furnaces at Steel Dynamics, Inc., in Butler, Ind.

Steel Dynamics, Inc., and Kobe Steel, Ltd., of Japan are partners in the project. An iron nugget production technology pioneered by Kobe Steel, Ltd., and proven on a pilot scale at Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay, will be used to produce the nuggets. Steel Dynamics says the plant will be capable, at a favorable cost, of providing to its steel mills a domestic source of iron units that are of equal or higher quality than purchased pig iron. Additional iron nugget units may be constructed. Steel Dynamics has separately acquired land at the site to re-open an iron mine and build a $165 million facility to concentrate the ore as feed for the iron nugget plant. In addition to producing a new product made from iron ore concentrate, the project will create a significant number of new mining-related jobs and support suppliers within the region.

Taxes paid by the operation would boost revenues to local units of government and the state. The plant and mine are being developed at the site of the former LTV Steel Mining Co. taconite plant, which closed in 2001.

Capital cost: $260 million (iron nugget plant), $165 million (mine)
Estimated permanent employment: 65 plus in 2009
Construction workers: 500

HOYT LAKES -- Mesabi Nugget is busy breaking its own production records the past several months, and is looking to get near its 500,000-ton production goal this year. The plant, which uses Kobe Steel’s unique IT3 technology in making 97 percent-pure iron nuggets, produced 100,000 metric tons in March, and then broke that total in April. The plant will shut down today for improvements to its furnace lining and should be back up in a short time, a company news release said. The company agreed last week to pay a $12,500 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for alleged water quality violations and “have since fulfilled all of the settlement’s required corrective actions,” a May 2 MPCA statement said.
There is one customer for all of the plant’s output for now. “It’s all internally consumed by our parent company, Steel Dynamics,” Mesabi Nugget plant manager Jeff Hansen said Thursday. The mine’s output is expected to go up as some of the fine-tuning to production goes on, he said. All nuggets are shipped by rail to SDI in Indiana, while iron ore concentrate is received from the Iron Range, Magnetation in Nashwauk and Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay. “We like to think of ourselves as the next generation of miners,” Hansen explained.
Mesabi Nugget’s production may well be a trend for future mining on the Range, as more and more steel producers nationally require purer iron for their electric-arc furnaces. More than half of steel produced is from electric-arc furnaces, not the older-style blast furnaces that taconite plants shape their iron pellets for. Electric-arc steel furnaces require high-quality metallic iron, as opposed to iron oxide, or taconite pellets. Such nuggets are key for Minnesota, as that’s the growing part of the steel market, Hansen said. “Minnesota ore hasn’t been able to penetrate the electric-arc furnace market, until now.” When the worldwide economic recession hit in 2008, electric-arc furnaces were still producing steel when blast furnace steelmakers shut down. Iron nugget production “offers a high level of stability,” he added. Mesabi Nugget started production in January 2010, with the world’s first plant using minority partner Kobe Steel’s technology. With the only operating iron nugget plant running, if a problem develops, employees work as a team to determine what the best solution is. “Really, it’s a trial and error process,” Hansen said. Adjustments have been made as nugget production continued in 2010, with some stops for fine-tuning. The plant shut down for about two weeks in November for maintenance before work resumed. Production for all of 2010 totaled 67,000 metric tons. Some equipment issues cropped up in January, but then production ramped up in February. The plant combines four traditionally separate processes into one: The blast furnace, cinter plant, coke oven and pellet plant. The process adds to energy efficiency, environmental benefits and cost savings. An agglomerator process is included for nuggets, something like part of taconite pellet production, but the feedstock is 50 percent coal, which helps inject carbon which adds to the rotary-furnace process.

“That chemical reaction is required,” Hansen noted, as it takes iron oxide to a metallic product. The company is still hiring, and in perhaps the next year or so officials are looking to start up iron ore mining to produce their own concentrate. Several more plants may be started up in the future as well. Two more plants on the Range is “quite a ways off,” Hansen said. “It’s possible. A lot of that hinges on the success of the product. Low-cost concentrate is critical.” Having a domestic source for iron nuggets on the Iron Range that is “relatively close” to electric-arc steel producers like SDI in Indiana “is an advantage,” he added. So far there have been inquiries but no other customers about iron nuggets. “There certainly is a significant amount of interest in what we’re doing in the iron and steel industry,” Hansen said. Regarding the stipulation agreement with the MPCA, which said the plant’s water output did not meet effluent limits and volume restrictions, Hansen said, “We take our environmental responsibility seriously.” Of the $300 million spent by backers of the Mesabi Nugget project, upwards of $100 million was spent on environmental safety, such as heat recovery, controlled air emissions, a wet scrubber and “baghouse,” as well as wastewater treatment. “These are legacy issues associated with the pit water,” Hansen said of the effluent. The plant is using the old pit No. 1 of the former LTV Mining Co. for its water needs. “It wasn’t as a result of our operation,” he said. Hansen commended the backers of the project, who decided to proceed with plant construction in the middle of the economic recession. More than 2,000 workers were involved in construction at one point or another, for a million worker-hours of construction. If Mesabi Nugget is producing at 3/4 capacity of its annual capacity for 500,000 tons this year, “that would be good,” Hansen said, and could help them meet their goal in 2012.
United Taconite Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc
United Taconite LLC http://www.cleveland-cliffs.com
6 million tons per year from 5.3 million tons.
United Taconite LLC is proposing to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, mercury and other air pollutants while increasing production of taconite pellets under a $104 million improvement project at United Taconite’s processing plant in Forbes, Minnesota.

The Green Production Project includes an estimated $35 million for retrofitting the plant to burn lower-emitting fuels and adding new emission control equipment. Upgrades to United Taconite’s concentrator and pellet plant equipment will allow an increase in taconite pellet production to 6 million tons per year from 5.3 million tons. Twenty-four new jobs will be added.
The project allows United Taconite to use lower emission fuels. Currently, United Taconite uses a combination of fuels that includes natural gas, fuel oil, petroleum coke and Eastern coal. The Green Production Project will allow enhanced fuel blending and the use of lower-emitting fuels, resulting in substantially less use of petroleum coke and natural gas in favor of low sulfur coal and biomass.

The renovations will allow United Taconite to use Renewafuel, a next-generation, carbon-neutral biofuel with substantially fewer greenhouse gas, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions than fossil fuels. When all the improvements are in place, United Taconite is expected to have the lowest combined emissions per ton of taconite produced of any facility operating in Minnesota.

Construction will begin after the approval of permit amendments filed with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. United Taconite, which includes a mine in Eveleth, Minnesota, employs about 557 employees and has an annual payroll, including benefits, of about $50 million. The taconite facility is wholly owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.
Capital cost: $104 million Estimated permanent employment: 24 Construction workers: Not yet available

United Taconite facilities in Eveleth Forbes to be idled
EVELETH, Minn. (AP) July 29, 2015  5km South of Virginia

Cliffs Natural Resources says it will temporarily idle its United Taconite mine in Eveleth and its pellet plant in Forbes.
About 480 employees work at the two facilities on Minnesota's Iron Range, which has been hard hit by layoffs this spring and summer.
Cliffs CEO Laurenco Goncalves announced the idling on the company's earnings call Wednesday. Goncalves attributed the shutdown to a decline in demand from the company's customers that use the taconite pellets to make steel in giant blast furnaces. WDIO-TV reports Goncalves also said the facilities will be idled in a way that they can promptly bring back operations.

In St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio News reports Gov. Mark Dayton told reporters Wednesday that he's heading to the Iron Range to meet with steelworkers who will be idled.

United Taconite is located in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range with mining facilities in Eveleth and pellet processing in Forbes.

 Previously EVTAC Mining Company, the operation produced its first pellets in 1965 and was idled in May 2003 after filing for bankruptcy protection. The Mine assets were acquired in December 2003 by a subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (70%) and Laiwu Steel Group Ltd. (30%) of China. Cliffs (now Cliffs Natural Resources) later bought out its partner but retains a trade agreement to provide pellets to Laiwu.

 After the material is mined in Eveleth, it is transported to the Forbes processing. The processing plant utilizes crushing along with five rod mill/ball mill circuits, three stages of magnetic separation, five filter machines, 12 balling drums and two grate-kiln indurating units. United’s finished pellets are transported by rail 60 miles south to the docks in Duluth, Minnesota.

 Following completion of a capital expansion in December 2004, the mine has an annual rated capacity of 5.2 million gross tons per year.

USS Keetac mine
U. S. Steel is also involved in railroad and barge transportation services
through its Transtar, Inc. subsidiary. Keetac 1 Mine Road
Keewatin, MN 55753 218-778-8700
Annual production capacity would increase to 9.6 million tons, making it the second largest taconite plant on Minnesota’s Iron Range. Estimated to begin in 2012 or 2013.
KeeTac expansion moves forward
DNR makes decision on environmental review
Published: Monday, January 3, 2011
KEEWATIN — One of the two necessary agencies has determined the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed KeeTac mine expansion adequate. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced its determination Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must still issue its own separate and independent decision on the final EIS. Estimated to begin in 2012 or 2013, the KeeTac project would expand the existing mine and restart an idle production line. The proposed expansion would increase Keetac’s annual pellet production output by 3.6 million tons, to a total of 9.6 million tons per year, according to the DNR.
“We are very happy that this thorough review process paved the way for what could be an important project for northern Minnesota,” DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten said in a release. “If the proposed project proceeds, it will mean a boost in employment on the Range.” The EIS review process began in the spring of 2008. The process identified several opportunities for reductions in the project’s environmental impacts, including avoiding the loss of 100 acres of wetlands. Once the final EIS has been determined adequate by both the DNR and Army Corps of Engineers, state permits may be issued for the proposed project — if it complies with state regulations.
About U. S. Steel
United States Steel Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada and Central Europe and an annual raw steelmaking capability of 31.7 million net tons. The company manufactures a wide range of value-added steel sheet and tubular products for the automotive, appliance, container, industrial machinery, construction, and oil and gas industries.

U. S. Steel’s integrated steel facilities include Gary Works, which is made up of Gary Works in Gary, Ind., East Chicago, Ind., and the Midwest Plant in Portage, Ind.; Great Lakes Works in Ecorse and River Rouge, Mich.; Mon Valley Works, which includes the Edgar Thomson Plant and the Irvin Plant near Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Fairless Plant near Philadelphia, Pa.; Granite City Works in Granite City, Ill.; Fairfield Works in Fairfield, Ala.; Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke, Ontario, and Hamilton Works in Hamilton, Ontario, both of which make up U. S. Steel Canada;
U. S. Steel Košice in the Slovak Republic; and U. S. Steel Serbia in the Republic of Serbia.
U. S. Steel is also involved in several steel finishing joint ventures in the United States, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.

U. S. Steel prides itself on being a leader in both process and product technology and has three research and development facilities dedicated to advancing the boundaries of steelmaking: the Research and Technology Center in Munhall, Pa.; the Automotive Center, a research and sales facility in Troy, Mich.; and USSE Research in Košice.

U. S. Steel has tubular operations in Bellville, Houston, Hughes Springs, and Lone Star Texas; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Birmingham, Ala.; Lorain, Ohio; and McKeesport, Pa. The company also maintains tubular products sales offices in Denver, Co., Houston, and Calgary, Alberta Canada and operates the Innovation and Technology Center in Houston.

U. S. Steel produces coke at Mon Valley Works’ Clairton Plant near Pittsburgh as well as at Gary Works, Granite City Works, Lake Erie Works, Hamilton Works and U. S. Steel Košice. The company operates two iron ore mines through its Minnesota Ore Operations on the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota: one in Mt. Iron (Minntac) and one in Keewatin (Keetac). Both mine an iron-bearing rock called taconite and process it into concentrated iron ore pellets, which are converted to liquid iron in the company’s blast furnaces.

USS Keetac http://www.ussteel.com
A United States Steel Corp. capital investment program at its Minnesota Ore Operations Keetac iron ore pellet production facility in Keewatin will boost production by 3.6 million tons per year. The program would increase production, enhance overall environmental performance, support the facility’s long-term viability, and create construction jobs and new permanent jobs.

It would take about 36 months after the permitting process to complete and modernize a pellet production line that has been idle at the plant since 1980. Restarting the line would involve energy-efficient technologies in addition to new emission controls to exceed current environmental standards. Annual production capacity would increase to 9.6 million tons, making it the second largest taconite plant on Minnesota’s Iron Range.
In addition to increasing production and improving environmental standards, there will be upgrades to mining, concentrating, and agglomerating processes to support the increased production requirements. The program includes the purchase of additional mining equipment and the installation of additional processing equipment. Minnesota Ore Operations, which includes Keetac and Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron, is Minnesota’s largest producer of iron ore pellets, the key ingredient used to make steel.
The production of additional iron ore pellets benefits local communities and the state through the payment of taconite taxes.
Capital cost: More than $300 million Estimated permanent employment: 75 Construction workers: 500

U. S. Steel is also involved in railroad and barge transportation services through its Transtar, Inc. subsidiary and real estate operations through its USS Real Estate division.

Every day, U. S. Steel employees around the world dedicate themselves to putting our five core values into action. Safety is first – it’s our company’s top priority. Our other core values are diversity and inclusion; environmental stewardship; focus on cost, quality and customer; and results and accountability. Focusing on these values guides our highly skilled workforce toward realizing our Vision: Making Steel. World Competitive. Building Value.

U. S. Steel’s operations are efficient and high tech, and our customer focus is intense. We’ve been making steel for more than 100 years, always with an eye to serving our customers’ needs in the most cost-effective ways possible.

Companies that want to be competitive in an increasingly global marketplace must have a global outlook and presence. U. S. Steel continually looks for opportunities to strengthen our existing presence in the global arena and strives to meet and set world-class standards in everything we do.

At U. S. Steel, creating value for our stakeholders is a priority. To ensure our long-term success, we aim to build value for our customers, employees, shareholders, creditors, and the communities in which we operate using the same responsible approach that has positioned us as a leader in our industry.
United States Steel Corporation Minnesota Ore Operations

Overview U. S. Steel’s Minnesota Ore Operations, located on the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota, is composed of two facilities: Minntac in Mt. Iron and Keetac in Keewatin. At these facilities, iron-bearing rock called taconite is mined and processed into iron ore pellets for use in U. S. Steel’s steelmaking facilities. Annual production capability at Minntac is approximately 16 million net tons of pellets, while Keetac can produce approximately six million net tons of pellets each year.

Contact Information
United States Steel Corporation - Minnesota Ore Operations Minntac
8819 Old Highway 169 Mt. Iron, MN 55768 1-800-752-7299
Keetac 1 Mine Road Keewatin, MN 55753 218-778-8700

ArcelorMittal Minorca
ArcelorMittal Minorca is located near Virginia, Minn. and is one of the company’s leading sources of iron ore – a major raw material required in the manufacturing of steel. Minorca supplies about 50 percent of No. 7 Blast Furnace’s pelletized iron requirements.

Each year, Minorca produces about 2.8 million tons of fluxed iron-bearing pellets, and mines about 18 million tons of ore, rock, and waste material. The pellets are shipped to ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor located in East Chicago, Indiana. Next, the pellets are charged into Indiana Harbor’s No. 7 Blast Furnace, which is capable of producing more than 12,500 tons of molten iron a day. Minorca supplies about 50 percent of No. 7 Blast Furnace’s pelletized iron requirements.

ArcelorMittal Minorca 5950 Old Highway 53 N Virginia, MN 55792 T +1 218 749 5910

Thompson Cliffs Canada
Expected ramp up of Bloom Lake to 8 million metric tons and further expansion to 16 million metric tons.

Cliffs has completed the acquisition of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited, an emerging world-class iron ore producer located in Eastern Canada, for C$4.9 billion. Cliffs is enthusiastic about expanding its investment in Eastern Canada, where it has for decades operated the Wabush-Scully mine and Pointe Noire pellet plant and port.

The acquisition provides Cliffs with strategically important links to deep-sea ports in Sept-Îles, Québec and customers of seaborne product, helping Cliffs gain increased pricing flexibility. The Consolidated Thompson acquisition complements Cliffs’ strategy and further solidifies its position among the world’s top ten iron ore producers.

Cliffs’ Acquisition of Consolidated Thompson:
is part of Cliffs’ strategic plan to build scale by owning expandable and exportable steelmaking raw material assets serving the world’s emerging economies.
provides Cliffs the opportunity to build and grow strong business relationships with Consolidated Thompson’s current customers, along with acquiring its premium assets.
is good for Cliffs as it renews Cliffs’ culture of ambitious growth and performance.
is good for Consolidated Thompson employees as all properties and employees are considered essential to Cliffs’ growth plans in Eastern Canada.
is good for Canada as it represents job growth and new investment by a company committed to sustainable development.

Cliffs’ Investment in Eastern Canada Includes:
An anticipated half a billion dollars in capital and equipment over the next three years.
Expansion plans at Wabush Mines with the intent to increase annual capacity, continue to maximize production and extend the life of the Scully mine.
Capital improvement plans underway at the Pointe Noire port facilities.
The bedrock of Minnesota Mining
Critical state support for iron ore and precious metals grows strong industries
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: early 1980s forms the Iron Ore Cooperative to fund research to improve iron ore and taconite processing.
Administered by DNR’s Division of Lands and Minerals, the Cooperative is made up of taconite industry and minerals research lab representatives. NRRI researchers serve on subcommittees.
Taconite plants suggest research projects that they need done

Taconite mining and processing into pellets is a unique industry in the U.S. relegated to specific areas of Minnesota and Michigan. But it is also large, vital and complex. Ongoing research to improve the process is critical to keep production costs down and quality high. So it makes sense that the three major taconite producers in North America — Cliffs Natural Resources, U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal — work together to share research information.

This cooperative effort was especially crucial during the early 1980s recession when steel production in the U.S. was grinding to a halt and demand for taconite pellets plummeted. It was then that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources formed the Iron Ore Cooperative to fund research to improve iron ore and taconite processing.

Administered by the DNR’s Division of Lands and Minerals, the Cooperative is made up of taconite industry and minerals research lab representatives. NRRI researchers Blair Benner, Dave Englund and Dick Kiesel serve on subcommittees.

NRRI_minerals_ lab_Coleraine

“The taconite plants suggest research projects that they need done,” explained Dave Hendrickson, director of NRRI’s minerals lab in Coleraine. “Requests for research proposals are sent out and responded to, and the projects are given to a research organization. It’s a very competitive process.”

The Iron Ore Cooperative addresses the specific and unique needs of the taconite companies with shared research. And because NRRI works hand-in-glove with the mining industry, it is able to consistently anticipate research needs, and frequently gets chosen to conduct the research.

Currently, NRRI minerals researchers are working on three projects funded by the Iron Ore Cooperative.

Kiesel is working to provide taconite plants a cost-effective biomass replacement for their coal- fueled induration furnaces. He has a pilot scale torrefaction machine that produces a charred wood product with properties similar to coal. Kiesel is also working to improve pellet quality before and after they’re fired. His lab-scale research delves into the process of mixing the binder and the taconite concentrate, and whether high intensity mixing equipment will be more effective. After all the mixing and high-heat cooking, the pellets need to be cooled. Englund’s research uses computer models to find the most cost-effective balance between the production rate and energy efficiency of the cooling process.

Since its inception,
the Iron Ore Cooperative has provided public investment of approximately $600,000 per biennium, matched by about $400,000 in private funds over the same period, according to the DNR.

While taconite received its due attention, industry leaders and legislators in the 1980s realized that the singular focus on iron ore mining wasn’t economically wise for Northern Minnesota. In 1987, a Minerals Diversification Plan was accepted by the state legislature and funding was established to stimulate the development of copper, nickel and other precious metals mining. NRRI’s Economic Geology Group played a lead role in this effort.

“When NRRI was established, we were looking at diversifying Minnesota’s mineral potential,” said Thys Johnson, former director of NRRI’s Center for Applied Research and Technology Development. “(Geologist) Steve Hauck and I talked to people and put together a big program for the Minerals Diversification Fund to get things going in Minnesota.”

This early funding has led to today’s detailed understanding of the state’s Duluth Complex,
a valuable deposit of copper, nickel and platinum group elements poised for economic development.