Wednesday, November 26, 2008 By Aaron Brown
My friend and fellow Cherryite Lee Bloomquist, the IRR information officer, posted a status update on the Essar Steel Minnesota combined mine and steel plant project near Nashwauk. I keep hearing rumors that the bad economy is slowing or stopping Essar's construction timeline, but according to Lee's observations things are moving along as planned. It's nice that someone is posting video of the work sites for things like this and the Mesabi Nugget project. Most people only know these sites through the newspaper descriptions.
I think the Range needs to be making plans for a post-mining economy, but in the meantime projects like this that further connect our mineral products to the global marketplace and add efficiency to the steelmaking process. It's not a perfect project, but it's much more realistic than the Project That Must Not Be Named. Nevertheless, the bad national economy is going to have a whiplash effect on the Iron Range that we should all be preparing for right now.