Magnetation may close iron ore concentrate facility in US

29 August 2016 (Last Updated August 29th, 2016 18:30)

Magnetation has announced it may close its Minnesota iron ore concentrate plants and rail loading facility, as well as its pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana, US.

Magnetation has announced it may close its Minnesota iron ore concentrate plants and rail loading facility, as well as its pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana, US.

If the shutdown takes place, it is expected around 30 September. Until the closure, the company intends to continue operations as usual. 

Magnetation said that the move has been done in compliance with the US Department of Labor's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by notifying local officials and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local regarding production stopping and job cuts.

Warn Act notification will be provided 60 days in advance if there is potential to layoff more than 50 employees.

"We will be working closely with the appropriate governmental agencies to assist any affected employees."

Magnetation CEO Larry Lehtinen said: "While this was a difficult decision, the company believes that, in light of current circumstances, preparing for a safe and orderly wind-down while we continue to seek an alternative to a shutdown is the best course of action to support what is in the best interests of our employees, creditors and other critical constituents.

“As a result, we are communicating the proper notifications to our employees and the communities. We will be working closely with the appropriate governmental agencies to assist any affected employees who would be laid off if this shutdown is implemented."

In connection with the potential closure, Magnetation has signed an agreement with AK Steel, and its senior secured lenders to cease operations and implement a wind-down process.

In Minnesota, the company has three iron ore concentrate plants in Keewatin, Bovey and Grand Rapids, in addition to an iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.