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Lourenco Goncalves was back in northern Minnesota on Friday for a victory lap of sorts, a chance to bask in the glow of his company's rebirth. Goncalves, the outspoken CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources, came to Minnesota to receive the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce's "Business of the Year" award in Virginia, but first stopped in Duluth to chat with reporters and brag a little on camera.
Giants Ridge ski and golf complex in Biwabik would be entirely run by a private management firm — and not state employees of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board — under a provision the IRRRB is expected to approve next week. IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips has for months said he wants to move to a single, private management of all Giants Ridge operations, some of which are now contracted and some of which are handled by IRRRB employees.
Minnesota's Executive Council on Thursday approved new mineral leases for Kennecott's Tamarack copper mining project near the Aitkin/Carlton county line. The council, made up of the state's highest-elected officials, voted 4-1 to approve the new leases that allow exploration, and potentially mining, under 6,800 acres of land where the state owns the mineral rights.
Never mind. A winter storm will bring heavy snow to southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin on Friday, but is now expected to just graze the Northland. The National Weather Service is forecasting 6 to 12 inches of snow across southern Minnesota, brushing the southern Twin Cities, and into central and northeastern Wisconsin, most of it falling during the day Friday.
More than 200 businesses from Minnesota and other states have signed-on to a new coalition to oppose copper mining in Northeastern Minnesota. The New Boundary Waters Business Coalition was unveiled Thursday, with organizers saying they want to keep copper mines away from the federal wilderness. Many of the business are in Duluth, Ely and Twin Cities, and many are tourism- or hospitality-based. Others include global springs goods companies.
U.S. Steel on Tuesday filed a claim in State District Court in St. Paul asking a judge to order the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to finish work on specific pollution limits before issuing a new permit for the company's Minntac taconite operations. The filing, called a writ of mandamus, asks the judge to order the PCA to complete work on site-specific pollutant limits and other regulations before issuing a permit for the company’s tailings basin.
Eleni Pinnow says it still happens often. She sees something interesting or funny in the news or hears it on the radio and reaches for her phone to text her sister about it. But Aletha Pinnow has been gone for a year now, so there is no sister to text.
Tom Clarke has developed a pattern in recent years: finding shuttered, bankrupt companies, buying them for pennies on the dollar and then restarting them at just the right time. He's done it with coal mines — from Alabama to British Columbia — and now he's trying iron ore, restarting the former Magnetation LLC operations on the western Iron Range.
If the idea of taking a tour boat across choppy Lake Superior waters has you nauseous, how about a quick flight on a floatplane? The National Park Service on Friday announced that, for the first time ever, a private company may be allowed to operate regular seaplane flights from Grand Marais to the island park. While the island sits only 15 miles off Minnesota's North Shore, the park headquarters and much of the focus of park access has been through Houghton, Mich.
If you liked the Northland's warm winter, you should like the spring ahead, at least according to the forecast experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA forecasters on Thursday said there's a better-than-average chance for the Northland to see a warmer-than-average March-May period, with slightly above normal precipitation. If that happens, it will continue a two-year string of warmer-than-average months.