Minnesota awards Nashwauk mineral leases to Cleveland-Cliffs


Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks with Essar Group executive Ravi Ruia after the hearing on Thursday.

Hardily rejecting a last-ditch plea from Mesabi Metallics, the Minnesota Executive Council unanimously voted Thursday to award the company's former mineral leases on the Iron Range to Cleveland-Cliffs.

Led by Gov. Tim Walz, panel members said they agreed with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' reasoning behind its recommendation that Cleveland-Cliffs get the coveted leases for over 2,600 acres of state taconite mining rights.

The DNR had revoked the leases for Mesabi's delay-plagued and half-built Nashwauk taconite plant after the company missed its latest deadline in 2021. The DNR then sought new proposals for the leases.



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