MINNEAPOLIS, May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union said today that it supported the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announcement on Wednesday that it would begin the process of canceling mineral leases held by Mesabi Metallics for a long-planned taconite mine on the state's iron range.
That decision clears the way for another company, possibly Cleveland-Cliffs, to develop the project near Nashwauk, Minn. Cliffs already operates several other iron ore mining sites in the region.
"Iron ore mining is an essential part of the economy of Minnesota, and an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to producing the steel we need to rebuild our national infrastructure," said USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who represents tens of thousands of union workers in Minnesota and eight other Midwestern states.
"The former Mesabi Metallics mine project has the potential to deliver hundreds of good-paying, family-supporting jobs to the hard-working people of the Iron Range," Ramirez said. "Making sure that this project is in the hands of a company that will move forward in a timely, responsible and sustainable way is the best decision for the people of Minnesota."
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.