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.