by David Boe, Business North, Aug. 27, 2015
With five months of uncertainty still remaining, 2015 is turning out as a red-letter year for iron mining in the Northland. Hundreds have lost their jobs as mines on the Iron Range have been idled, with more losses possible as the industry – and the region – staggers from the brutal effects of not only the fickle global steel market, but unfair industrial and trade policies of other countries.
Coming off a wretched 2014, iron ore prices have continued to plummet, caused by a significant supply surplus globally and falling demand, especially in China. Economically speaking, the industry is in a bust phase, with a boom nowhere to be seen. It’s the worst the industry has seen since 2009. But that’s just the broad part of the market equation.
With UTAC, Mesabi Nugget, Keetac and Minntac shuttered for an indeterminate time (although Minntac began rehiring in July), steelworkers and their families are worried, steel executives are fuming, and legislators are calling for action. And all are pointing their fingers at one target as the cause: illegal steel dumping.
For the full story, click here.