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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Sandstede statement on DNR findings regarding Mesabi Metallics proposal

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Mesabi Metallics didn’t meet the terms of their agreement with the agency, including failure to meet several benchmarks by May 1 to maintain mineral leases at the site of their proposed project in Nashwauk.

State Representative Julie Sandstede (DFL – Hibbing) issued the following statement:

“It’s unfortunate, but it does not come as a surprise to me that Mesabi Metallics did not meet the terms of the agreement given their 13-year pattern of behavior. It’s a new day for the Iron Range, and the state must focus on pulling back and protecting the mineral leases before they get tied up in bankruptcy. Then, they must get an operator onsite to build and develop the project properly while advancing opportunities for the Range and our state.

“It’s time to move on from this debacle and pave the way for a legitimate mineral-producing company – with a commitment to our region – to create good-paying jobs. One company is prepared to build an HBI plant, and we must strike while the iron is hot. Let’s have it in Nashwauk, not Toledo. Minnesota missed its opportunity once, and Iron Rangers can’t afford for us to miss another critical opportunity to strengthen economic opportunity in our region.”