Steel Dynamics Inc. has bought a 4,458-acre mine in northeastern Minnesota’s iron range, renewing hopes of local officials that the Fort Wayne steelmaker will build a plant to make nearly pure iron nuggets for use in electric arc steel furnaces.
On Nov. 30, Steel Dynamics pulled out of a partnership with four other parties to build the $215 million plant. One partner, Cleveland-based Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the largest producer of iron pellets in North America, abandoned the project the same month. Cleveland-Cliffs sold 3,000 of the acres to Steel Dynamics.
Steel Dynamics didn’t mention the purchase when it released earnings Tuesday, and company officials could not be reached immediately for comment. The land sale was announced by a Minnesota politician and confirmed by an official of the joint-venture company, Mesabi Nugget LLC, according to the Mesabi Daily News.
The plant would employ 100.
The site, formerly owned by LTV Mine Co., is near the town of Hoyt Lakes and involved 30 landowners, the newspaper said.
Construction is expected to begin before an environmental permit expires Monday.