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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Economic Development - Iron nugget plant update

Two stories this weekend: An AP story, mostly a rehash, contains these quotes, which might lead one to conclude that the threat of an Indiana site is simply being used to "play" the Minnesota decision-makers into shortcutting their own approval process:

Steel Dynamics leaders say they prefer to build the first plant in Minnesota because of the proximity of taconite concentrate, the raw material needed to make iron nuggets.

However, environmental review processes for a nugget plant along Lake Superior could take several years. Permitting a plant in Indiana, which doesn't have the same environmental review process as Minnesota, could take six months.

A second story, in the Duluth News Tribune, contains similar language:
An economic-development package that would help Minnesota develop the world's first commercial iron nugget plant could be assembled by state officials by next week. * * * Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Sheryl Corrigan and Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Matt Kramer are helping develop the state's package, Layman said. * * *

Steel Dynamics leaders say they prefer to build the first plant in Minnesota because of the proximity of taconite concentrate, the raw material needed to make iron nuggets. However, environmental review processes for a nugget plant along Lake Superior could take several years. Permitting a plant in Indiana, which doesn't have the same environmental review process as Minnesota, could take six months.

Larry Lehtinen, president of Mesabi Nugget, said Friday that permitting for a plant at Northshore or Indiana is under way, and nugget officials remain open to alternatives. "We are open-minded to considering what the state wants to propose," he said.

[Update 4/14/04]"Mesabi Nugget dispute flares is the headline to this story from 4/13/04 in the Mesabi Daily News.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 11, 2004 08:51 AM
Posted to Indiana economic development