Essar Steel lays foundation of steel facility in
Minnesota’s Iron Range
Essar Steel Holdings Ltd, a part of Essar Global
Ltd, began building the first steelmaking facility
in Minnesota's famous Iron Range.
The $1.6 billion facility will be North America's
first mine-based steel plant and the single largest
investment made in the Mesabi range in recent times.
The ceremony also marked the unveiling of Essar
Steel Minnesota, LLC, the new name for the steelmaking
project that was earlier known as Minnesota Steel.
In 2007, Essar Steel Holdings acquired Minnesota
Steel, which has more than 1.4 billion tonnes of
iron ore resources in the Mesabi range.
State and local officials, including Minnesota Governor
Tim Pawlenty, joined senior officials from the Essar
Group to break ground at the site near Nashwauk.
Besides iron ore mining and production, the project
will include a concentration plant, a pellet plant,
a Direct-Reduced Iron (DRI) plant and steelmaking
facilities. At full production, Essar Steel Minnesota
will employ nearly 500 people, and up to 2,000 construction
workers over the course of the project. Iron ore
pellets will be produced within about two years
from the start of construction. Production of DRI
pellets and steel slabs is expected to begin the
fifth and the sixth year onwards, respectively.
The production from this facility will also support
the Essar Steel Algoma plant in Sault Ste Marie,
Ontario, Canada. Essar acquired the Algoma plant
in 2007 and has committed a capex of $500 million
in the next five years. Following the acquisition,
Essar Steel Algoma increased its capacity from 2.4
MTPA to 4 MTPA in less than a year.