ALLETE’s division Minnesota Power has signed an agreement to supply electricity for ten years to steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s Minorca mine near the city of Virginia in Minnesota, US.

ALLETE chairman, president and CEO Alan Hodnik said: "This long-term contract reflects a commitment to the future of mining on the Iron Range.

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"It also illustrates the strength of the relationships Minnesota Power has built over the years with ArcelorMittal and other large industry in north-eastern Minnesota."

"This long-term contract reflects a commitment to the future of mining on the Iron Range."

Minorca produces nearly three million tonnes of customised fluxed pellets a year, which will be used at ArcelorMittal’s blast furnace in Indiana Harbor Works near Chicago.

Minorca mine vice-president or operations manager Jonathan Holmes said: "ArcelorMittal Minorca Mine is pleased that the cooperative effort between the mine and Minnesota Power on the new long-term electric service agreement meets our energy needs in a competitive manner."

The new contract is subject to regulatory approval.

Minorca is one of ArcelorMittal’s sources of iron ore, which is a major raw material required to manufacture steel.

Minorca mines approximately 18 million tonnes of ore, rock, and waste material annually. It also supplies around 50% of No 7 blast furnace’s pelletised iron requirements.