Posted at: 11/27/2012 7:57 AM
Updated at: 11/27/2012 6:31 PM
By: Renee Passal
Magnetation LLC announced Tuesday that it has selected Reynolds, Indiana as the site to build its new iron ore pellet plant.
The new facility will produce high-quality iron ore pellets, a critical raw material in the steelmaking process.
Magnetation currently anticipates breaking ground during the first quarter of 2013.
The plant is expected to become operational in late 2014 or early 2015 and employ approximately 100-120 people.
General Manager Terry Nanti said that the infrastructure that's there and closeness to the customers were major factors in the decision to locate there. The pellets made in Reynolds will head to Ohio to be made into steel.
Magnetation will transport iron ore concentrate from its mineral recovery operations in Northern Minnesota to its new plant in Reynolds.
President Matt Lehtinen said this announcement still means 240 new jobs for Minnesota.
"We plan on breaking ground on Plants 4 and 5 in this region. And we're investing $30 million dollars into Plant 2 in Taconite, to make it more productive and efficient. We wouldn't be doing that unless the pellet project moved forward," he added.
Superior had also been in the running for the plant site, and had been a finalist in the choices.
Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn said they knew that the Indiana site had the advantage. Magnetation called them on Monday to tell them the news. "We were not surprised. Disappointed yes, but not surprised. Still, we enjoyed working with Magnetation. And we learned a lot about this experience, and are still hopeful we'll find an opportunity for our site."
Itasca County was ruled out earlier in the process.