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CHISHOLM — The Minnesota Discovery Center grounds are located at 1005 Discovery Drive in Chisholm. The campus is located on formerly mined land and is supported in part by the Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation (IRRR).

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About 60 percent of the product moving through the Port of Duluth-Superior is iron ore from the Iron Range mines — between 1.3 and 1.5 million…

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A longstanding axiom about crushing taconite at northeastern Minnesota iron ore facilities is that the plants “make small rocks out of big rocks.”

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For decades, the Iron Range has been the epicenter of American iron-ore mining. People here have been through plenty of boom-and-bust cycles and grown accustomed to being furloughed due to the ebbs and flows of steel prices and the auto industry. But they did not foresee the arrival of the COVID-19 and how the virus slowed or stopped operations due to its impact on the global economy.

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PolyMet Mining’s path to opening Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt will take another route through the Minnesota Supreme Court, which said earlier this month that it will review a case challenging the project’s air permits.

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Essar Global’s push to squash an effort that would ban it from doing business in Minnesota was set aside after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that dismissed the company’s challenge to a debarment process.

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A one-week legislative special session is wrapping up without much to show for the workers and communities of Minnesota. Here in the Iron Range, the economic situation is in free fall and if there has ever been a Hail Mary pass we could use from our lawmakers, passing a large infrastructure bill right now would be it.

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I strongly disagree with the decision made by Governor Walz to hold a contested case hearing on a simple water quality permit for the Line 3 replacement project. This is a basic construction permit, one that is issued for many other kinds of infrastructure projects. I understand the justification raised due to the Polymet permit decision on contested case hearings, but do not agree that this step was necessary in this case.

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