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Allete anticipates operating mines remain near full production through end of year

Northshore Mining will be idled until at least April, but the five other iron ore mines and pellet processing facilities remain strong, nominations to Minnesota Power indicate.

The Minnesota Power / Allete building in downtown Duluth.
The Minnesota Power/Allete building in downtown Duluth.
File / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Duluth-based energy company Allete, Inc. said the mines that remain open have indicated they'll operate at nearly full production levels through the end of the year.

At the beginning of August, industrial customers submitted nominations based on projected production, giving Minnesota Power, which is owned by Allete, a better idea of what power demand it can expect for the rest of the year.

The taconite industry remains some of the largest customers of Minnesota Power, and the five operating facilities indicated nearly full production. The sixth, Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay and Babbitt, will remain idled until at least April.

"The nominations indicate that the remaining taconite facilities will be right at full production throughout the rest of 2022," Allete Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steven Morris said in a call with investors Wednesday morning.

That led the company to reaffirm its 2022 earnings guidance as $3.60-$3.90 per share, Morris said.

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On Wednesday, Allete reported a profit of $37.6 million during the second quarter of 2022, or 67 cents per share. That's up from $27.9 million, or 53 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2021.

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