A mine is a terrible thing to waste

Minnesota State Roundup

Published October 1, 2000  | October 2000 issue

LTV Steel Mining Co., an employer of 1,400 in Hoyt Lakes, may close in 2001, but mining on the Iron Range is not necessarily in danger of extinction.

Minnesota Iron & Steel Co. may mine iron ore and convert it into steel near Nashwauk. An independent study determined that the mine and plant are feasible and could be profitable. The plant could employ about 760 people and open as early as spring 2004, but plans are contingent on financing.

Several studies also are under way to determine the feasibility of a precious metals mine near Hoyt Lakes. The land is thought to hold about 800 million tons of platinum, palladium, copper, nickel, silver, cobalt and gold deposits. If the deposits prove profitable and regulatory approval is obtained, the mine could begin operations by 2003 and employ more than 400.

The LTV property also has the potential to become a semi-finished steel slab plant, according to a local development consultant.