As expected, Grand Rapids-based Magnetation LLC will idle another of its iron ore recovery plants this month amid the continued global glut of ore and cheap steel.
Magnetation, which has been working to emerge from bankruptcy protection, had said in November that it needed to close its Plant 2 in Bovey because of decreasing demand for its iron ore product.
On Wednesday, it announced that the idling will begin Jan. 18. In a news release, Magnetation CEO Larry Lehtinen said there is "no way to predict how long this curtailment may last."
In November, the company had said the idling would affect 163 employees. It's the third of the small company's four plants to face closure in the past year. A plant in Keewatin as well as one in Chisholm, which is co-owned by the parent company of Mesabi Nugget, closed earlier. Only Magnetation's newest Plant 4 just outside Grand Rapids will remain operating after Jan. 18.
It's the latest in an ongoing string of closures across the Iron Range amid the downturn in the iron ore and steel industries.