Bankruptcy court clears way for Magnetation shutdown

A bankruptcy court has cleared the way for Iron Range mining company Magnetation LLC to shut down its remaining operations, including a plant in Indiana that had about 165 workers six weeks ago.

The court on Thursday approved a motion to wind down the company and terminate its pellet purchase agreement with AK Steel.

The company issued a statement saying its focus is now shifting to shutting down its iron ore concentrate plant in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and its pellet plant in Indiana, to preserve their value for any potential buyers. The Indiana plant is in Reynolds, about 25 miles north of Lafayette.

The Minnesota plant employed about 160 workers.

Magnetation opened in 2008 with an innovative process for extracting iron from old mine waste. At its peak it employed more than 500 people. But it filed for bankruptcy in May 2015 amid the global steel industry slump.

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