US Steel Reaffirms Interest in Nashwauk Mine Leases
Local media reported that US Steel announced that it is interested in developing mineral leases near the incomplete Nahwauk mine site. US Steel
Local media reported that US Steel announced that it is interested in developing mineral leases near the incomplete Nahwauk mine site. US Steel said “The close proximity to our Keetac mine would significantly enhance U. S. Steel’s ability to quickly develop and produce from the Nashwauk site, increasing the flexibility we could have to serve our electric arc furnace footprint in the United States given the permitting in place for a Direct Reduced Iron facility on the site. They are exploring options and gathering additional information on the site.”
Mesabi Metallics is trying to finish the mine, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has started the process of terminating leases for the Mesabi Metallics iron ore mining project in Nashwauk after the company did not meet critical and required benchmarks by the agreed May 1 deadline. DNR wrote to the company that it did not meet all of the conditions required to keep their leases. DNR wrote "After initial review DNR determined that Mesabi failed to demonstrate that it had USD 200 million immediately available in its accounts" as required by a deal the state and company made in December. DNR has also informed Mesabi that it owes USD 18 million in minimum base payments for 2020 and that the DNR has initiated termination of the leases."
Mesabi Metallics said it is committed to the project and blamed the worsening COVID-19 crisis in India for the funding delay.
The USD 2.6 billion mine near Nashwauk was given a controversial lifeline late last year after Mesabi failed to meet several milestones required to keep state leases for the long-stalled project that Essar Steel Minnesota began building in 2009.