Latest news and events relating to Mesabi Metallics.

Mesabi Metallics Hires Industry Veteran Larry Sutherland as President, COO

NASHWAUK, Minn., May 16, 2021 — Mesabi Metallics Co. LLC is delighted to announce the appointment of Lawrence Sutherland as President and Chief Operating Officer, effective May 15. Sutherland brings to the position the experience of a broad and successful 45-year career in the iron and steel industry, much of it in the Mesabi Range. Early in his career he was employed at the predecessor Butler Taconite facility as a millwright until 1985. Sutherland retired from U.S. Steel in 2020 after managing its Minnesota Ore Operations at Minntac and Keetac since 2013. Most recently he served as the CEO of Prairie River Minerals.

Sutherland will be responsible for day-to-day leadership on the site, and will ensure the mine and plant are properly and efficiently built and commissioned so they are operationally ready when construction is complete. His long experience on the Mesabi Range will be important in ensuring that the business meets best practices in all aspects of health, safety, environment and community relations. Mesabi Metallics looks forward to Sutherland’s contributions to the project’s mission of becoming a leading producer of high-grade iron ore pellets, providing jobs for the long term, and helping provide steel for America.

“I am excited to join Mesabi Metallics’s journey to complete the largest investment program in the history of Minnesota at the former Butler Taconite Mine, where I started my iron ore and steel career about 40 years ago,” Sutherland says. “I look forward to being part of an enterprise that will create multi-generation jobs at Nashwauk, from the construction phase through decades of ongoing operations.”

In addition, Mesabi Metallics is pleased to report that new and significant project activities are beginning on site in May. The company also expects to conclude a number of key construction contracts for steel works and other key activities in the coming weeks. As of this week, there are expected to be around 40 workers on site. This number is expected to increase substantially soon, following contractor mobilization and site readiness.

These developments follow a May 1 submission by Mesabi Metallics to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) satisfying conditions laid out in the December 2020 Amendment to the state leases. These conditions related to, among other things, cash payment to the DNR and Itasca County of approximately $25 million, binding offtake agreements for the pellets and committed financing facilities to complete the project.

Mesabi Metallics believes that it has met all material conditions necessary for the 2020 agreement to be fully effective. The company has received $100 million in cash out of the $200 million expected, which is more than adequate to progress construction activities for the coming months, and has signed binding and enforceable financing commitments for a total of $850 million required to complete the project. The financier had sought some additional time to fund the remaining $100 million required by the amendment on the grounds of significant disruption caused in travel and working conditions by the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence in several countries and particularly in India.

For these reasons, Mesabi Metallics has formally notified the DNR that it disputes the existence of a proper legal basis for issuing any termination notices in respect of the State Leases.

In the meantime, Mesabi Metallics remains fully committed to the project and is continuing to increase jobs on the site as it develops the mine for the benefit of Nashwauk and Northern Minnesota.

Mesabi Metallics is grateful for the local support and backing the project has in Nashwauk and its surrounding communities, and it looks forward to ramping up more 1,000 well-paid construction jobs over the coming months, and 325 well-paid operating jobs and more than 800 spin-off jobs once construction is complete and bringing substantial socio-economic benefits to the surrounding counties, and a major boost to the entire services sector in the area, immediately.

About Mesabi Metallics Co. LLC
Mesabi Metallics is building a 7-million tons per annum taconite mining and pelletization project in Nashwauk, Minn. This is the first such project in the Mesabi Range in the last few decades and one of the largest investments ever in Minnesota. Mesabi Metallics has already invested more than $1.5 billion into this project, which was unfortunately disrupted in 2016 due to circumstances beyond the company’s control. This project is more than 50 percent completed with substantial construction works already carried out and the majority of equipment either installed or stored at the work site. The project is expected to be commissioned well before May 2024, as agreed with the state.

For more information, contact:
Patrick Hynes
612-360-5110
phynes@messerlikramer.com

Mesabi Metallics Acquires 3,200 Acres in Itasca County, Minn.

NASHWAUK, Minn., July 20, 2021 — Mesabi Metallics Company LLC (Mesabi Metallics) today announced it has purchased 3,200 acres of land from Butlertac Holdings LLC (Butlertac). The land interests include a combination of undivided and whole-fee interests as well as mineral and surface leases, all lying within the Biwabik Iron Formation in the vicinity of the former Butler mine corridor in Itasca County.

The land purchase further strengthens Mesabi Metallic’s presence in the Iron Range and reaffirms its commitment to completing its 7-million tons per annum taconite mining and pelletization project in Nashwauk, says Larry Sutherland, President & COO Mesabi Metallics. “It brings us one step closer to completing and running a facility that will provide more than 350 well-paying operations jobs plus 800 spinoff jobs.”

About Mesabi Metallics

Mesabi Metallics is building a 7-million tons per annum taconite mining and pelletization project in Nashwauk, Minnesota. This is the first such project in the Mesabi Range in the last few decades and at the site of the old Butler mine, which closed 35 years ago. Construction will produce up to 1,000 well-paying jobs. This project is more than 50 percent complete and when finished, will be the largest investment ever in Minnesota with more than $2.5 billion invested in it. To this end, Mesabi Metallics has already invested more than $1.5 billion and more than 3 million man-hours of construction completed. The project is expected to be completed within three years.

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For more information, contact:
Dale Kurschner
Dale.kurschner@theplatinumgrp.com
763-567-9241

Mesabi Metallics Files Suit Against DNR to Ensure Nashwauk Project Proceeds

NASHWAUK, Minn. (May 28, 2021) — Mesabi Metallics LLC (“Mesabi Metallics”) today filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) asking the court for an order that would prevent the DNR from taking further actions to terminate mineral leases held by Mesabi Metallics and require the DNR to recognize the effectiveness of a 2020 Master Lease Amendment between Mesabi Metallics and the DNR.

Mesabi Metallics has complied with all material terms of the Master Lease Amendment and has already begun ramping up construction of a seven million tons per annum fully integrated iron ore pellet production facility in Nashwauk on the western Mesabi Range in northern Minnesota. This facility is expected to produce high-grade direct reduction and blast furnace pellets. Mesabi Metallics has approximately 40 employees and contract workers on site, and this number is expected to increase to into the hundreds by next spring and eventually, 1,000 construction jobs. Completion of the Nashwauk project will bring more than 350 full-time jobs and about 800 spin-off jobs to a site that closed 35 years ago.

Mesabi Metallics has at all times negotiated with the DNR in good faith and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, the DNR has taken positions related to Mesabi Metallics’ compliance with the 2020 Master Lease Amendment that are commercially unreasonable and not in the best interest of the State of Minnesota. Mesabi Metallics is confident that the recent actions of the DNR fail to meet the legal standard of reasonableness required of the DNR as a party to the Master Lease Amendment, and as a state agency that must manage Minnesota’s resources in an even-handed manner for the good of the state and its residents. The Mesabi Metallics project is precisely what the DNR’s mission statement says the DNR exists to support, yet the DNR in this instance is failing to abide by its own mission.

The DNR’s actions in recent weeks demonstrate both a failure to meet the legal standards, but more importantly, a failure to meet a standard of common sense and fair play that all Minnesotans understand. Should the DNR be allowed to stop construction of the most advanced mine on the Iron Range? Should the DNR walk away from the table when informed that the money would be deposited within three days of the DNR withdrawing the notice of termination? Should the DNR be permitted to try to stop the only viable means of reopening a mine shut down 35 years ago and, in so doing, threaten 1,000 well-paying construction jobs and more than 350 well-paying, multi-generation operations jobs? Of course not.
A lawsuit is never the preferred option, but in this situation it is necessary to ensure that construction can proceed on the timeline agreed to by Mesabi Metallics and the DNR in the Master Lease Amendment. Mesabi Metallics is asking the court to prohibit the DNR from taking further actions attempting to terminate the mineral leases, and for the court to declare that the Master Lease Amendment is valid and effective.

It is Mesabi Metallics’ continued hope that the DNR will return to the negotiating table in good faith so that all of the stakeholders who support this project can get to work completing a mine that will redefine the economy of the Iron Range for generations to come. One can always look at a glass and say it is half empty, but it is also possible in a spirit of positivity to say it is half full with the ability at hand to fill it completely.

About Mesabi Metallics
Mesabi Metallics is building a 7-million tons per annum taconite mining and pelletization project in Nashwauk, Minnesota. This is the first such project in the Mesabi Range in the last few decades and at the site of the old Butler mine, which closed 35 years ago. Construction will produce up to 1,000 well-paying jobs. This project is more than 50 percent complete and when finished, will be the largest ever in Minnesota with more than $2.5 billion invested in it. To this end, Mesabi Metallics has already invested more than $1.5 million and more than 3 million man-hours of construction completed. The project is expected to be completed within three years.

For more information, contact:
Dale Kurschner
Dale.kurschner@theplatinumgrp.com
763-567-9241

Why are two Parties with Good Intentions at Odds With Each Other?

Dear Minnesotans,
Why does it seem that two parties with the same goal, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Essar Global, the company Ico-founded with my brother,are now at odds placing at risk the largest project in the history of State of Minnesota, which when complete, will have attracted morethan $2.5 billion in investments?

Each party shares the same goal: to complete the Mesabi Metallics project. And despite everything that has been reported, we arenot that farapart.

Why is Essar in Minnesota fighting to reopen amine that closed decades ago? We areherefor the same reason my family and Ihave been with each of our projects. We believe in spotting rare opportunities and the potential to combine them with industrial ingenuity —particularly when it can benefit all stakeholders including alocal community and economy. In all our projects in morethan adozen countries, we have created thousands of jobs, and the city of Nashwauk, Itasca County and Greater Minnesota are no different.

In 2008, we identified the Butler Taconite mine because it is the only Minnesota location with superior grade taconite that can easily be converted into Direct Reduced grade pellets, which will be used for the first value-added facility to produce Direct Reduced Iron on the Iron Range. As such, this mining operation will elevate Minnesota’s position on the United States’ industrial map.

In the past thirteen years, what is now Mesabi Metallics has invested morethan $1.5 billion on amine that has been closed for 35 years. Over those decades, no other mining company in Minnesota invested or attempted to revive the mine. Actual dollars have been invested by us in Minnesota. To date, three million hours of construction have been deployed on this project. These points demonstrate this is real. Youcan literally see what has been built thus far. Despite the progress we made, we regret thereweresome setbacks due to circumstances we could not control, which is not unusual for aproject of this scale. But in spite of these setbacks, we are still here to makesurethis project will move forwardthis summer as planned. We aregoing to get this done.

Our site will create 1,000 construction jobs over the next 24 months and thereafter,more than 350 well-paying operations jobs plus 800 spinoff jobs once we begin operations. As an entrepreneur this is what drives me, to makethis dream areality.

We arefully aligned with the DNR’s mission statement “to work with Minnesotans to 1) conserve and manage natural resources, 2) provide outdoor recreation opportunities; and 3) provide for commercial uses of natural resources in away that creates asustainable quality of life.”What’s more, its purpose regarding mineral leases is to ensurethey generate money dedicated for public schools and the University of Minnesota, which this project also will support.
Mesabi Metallics plans to spend close to another $850 million on the mine, in order to develop your natural resources in away that creates asustainable quality of life for residents of Nashwauk and Itasca County.

Mesabi Metallics and Essar have achieved agreat deal despite setbacks. We have paid what has been recently asked of us including about $25 million to the state in December 2020. We have adopted changes as part of our good faith effort to finish this project, and work done with DNR. And we will takethe necessary actions to protect our interests.
Mesabi Metallics, Essar,the DNR and everyone else engaged in this project over the years have worked well together.Iremain optimistic we can move forwardfromthis impasse, and get back to doing the good work we all want to complete for the benefit of the local communities, the Mesabi Range, and all the people of the State of Minnesota.
Sincerely, Ravi Ruia, Co-Founder Essar Global Fund Ltd.

Mesabi Metallics hopes to rise from wreckage of Essar Steel Minnesota

Mesabi Metallics hopes to rise from wreckage of Essar Steel Minnesota