Minn. taconite prospects bright for 2014 and 2015 - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. taconite prospects bright for 2014 and 2015

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Prospects look bright for Minnesota's iron mining industry in 2014 and 2015 after a dip in production this year.

State officials expect 2013 will end with production of about 38.9 million tons of taconite. Bob Wagstrom, who tracks mining for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, tells the Duluth News Tribune. That's down about 2 percent from 2012.

Most of the drop was due to less production at Northshore Mining, which idled two production lines after losing a customer.

But Northshore plans to put those idled lines back into production in 2014, and increases are also expected at Magnetation and Mesabi Nugget.

Magnetation expects even more production in 2015 when it opens a new plant in Coleraine. And Essar Steel's project in Nashwauk is expected to begin producing in 2015.

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