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Magnetation picks Indiana site for new plant

Larry Lehtinen, Magnetation CEO

Magnetation will build its new iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana, the firm announced today.

The plant will produce up to three million metric tons a year of high-quality iron ore pellets. Magnetation currently anticipates breaking ground during the first quarter of 2013. The plant is expected to become operational in late 2014 or early 2015 and employ approximately 100 to 120 people.

In June the Grand Rapids-based company said they would build the plant in either Superior or Indiana after announcing that it had ruled out a pair of Itasca County sites.

"With convenient access to major railways and highways, Reynolds is an outstanding location for the company's new pellet plant," Magnetation CEO Larry Lehtinen said in a news release. "We thank our local and state officials in Indiana for their ongoing support of our company, and we look forward to joining the Reynolds community in the very near future."

Magnetation will transport iron ore concentrate from its mineral recovery operations in northern Minnesota to the Reynolds plant. The concentrate will be converted into high-quality iron ore pellets for use by AK Steel Corporation. Magnetation expects that the pellet plant itself will require a capital investment of approximately $300 million to $350 million, with additional iron ore concentrate capacity to be built in Minnesota, which will require another $120 million.

Magnetation LLC owns and operates two reclamation plants located in Keewatin and Taconite. The company plans to build two additional concentrate reclamation plants, one northwest of Coleraine and one southeast of Calumet.