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Minntac - Scratch 600

dmir227's picture

[G2:2131 n=1 frame=none size=480]Minntac, the "king" of taconite plants, has been the only mine to avoided any major layoffs, that is until today when local union officials announced 600 of the mine's 1,200 employees would be laid off over the next few weeks as a pelletizing line is shuttered. That production line joins an older smaller line mothballed last year. Minntac will continue to produce with its three remaining lines. In very general terms a production line equates to one pellet train per day, so instead of five potential trains a day Minntac will be sending out only three. This will also reduce limestone moves. A few dozen miles to the west, U.S. Steel's Keewatin Taconite plant remains completely shuttered.

Surprisingly, many feel reduced production on the front end of the softening demand curve is a good thing because in the mid-1980s when the domestic steel industry went into a tailspin the mines and mills kept producing, so when a recovery started there was so much inventory that it didn't help the mines for a couple of years.

David Schauer
Duluth, MN