A federal bankruptcy judge authorized the sale of a former Magnetation and ERP Iron Ore facility to MJM Minerals LLC this week.

The company will pay $1.7 million for the property known as Plant 2; no contact information for the company could be found to verify the firm's plans.

The Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board, a collection of regional government officials, wrote in a court filing this week that MJM is "a firm that is believed to have the intent of demolishing the facility and removing and selling its assets."

"WMMPB understand that some of the physical assets at the Plant 2 site may be of importance from a public safety standpoint to controlling water that is rising in an uncontrolled manner in a nearby group of idle open-pit mines, for which substantial public funds were previously invested and in which additional public funds may yet be needed especially if all of the Plant 2 assets are removed."

The objection came a month late, however, and another bidder was not brought forward, according to bankruptcy trustee Nauni Manty, who wrote in a reply that "MJM remains interested in reselling Plant 2 to an operator."

"MJM expressed to Itasca County that it would market Plant 2 for up to 16 months to purchasers who are willing to operate the plant. Itasca County declined the proposal," the trustee wrote.