COLERAINE, MN -- As iron mines announce layoffs due to COVID-19, there’s some positive news coming out of Itasca County.
This week Prairie River Minerals announced plans to start new construction in April on a multimillion-dollar ore processing plant near Coleraine.
The facility will process leftover iron ore waste tailings that can be used by steel plants.
This area has had a rough go with mining projects lately including the ongoing issues with Essar Steel in Nashwauk and the bankruptcy of Magnetation back in 2015.
Daniel Mandich has been mayor of Coleraine for almost two years. He remembers the toll it took on the community when Magnetation closed.
With the announcement of this new project, he’s hopeful this will open up new opportunities for people in his community.
“It’s very exciting to me and most everyone I’ve met in town is excited about this too," said Mandich. "Coleraine has been in a little slump for awhile here.”
Prairie River Minerals estimates the demonstration plant could create 25 to 30 jobs initially.
While the company doesn’t want to speculate, they do anticipate the number of jobs will continue to grow once things get underway.
We’ll have much more on this, including reaction from a small business owner, during Eye On Mining next Tuesday at 10 p.m.