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Magnetation pays $40,000 fine for dust violations

Magnetation LLC has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty and develop a plan to eliminate excess dust emissions at its iron-ore-recovery operations in Keewatin.

Magnetation LLC has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty and develop a plan to eliminate excess dust emissions at its iron-ore-recovery operations in Keewatin.

The company, which recovers valuable iron-ore deposits from the waste dumps of old natural ore mines, also has agreed to conduct air-quality monitoring and study whether the operations require Magnetation to obtain an air-emissions permit.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced the settlement Tuesday after an investigation, saying Magnetation began to "periodically violate Minnesota's fugitive, or airborne, dust rule within three months of starting operations in February 2009."

The rule requires that facilities take steps to control avoidable dust from sources such as mining, roads, ore handling and stockpiles, and prevent them from becoming airborne. Residents in the area have complained of a reddish dust coating homes, cars and other items left outside.

The PCA issued the company a violation notice in July 2010 and required specific corrective actions. The company complied, but its efforts proved ineffective, and violations occurred again in late 2011.

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Dust samples collected in Keewatin by the inspector were analyzed and found to be from the same source as those he collected on the Magnetation property.

Magnetation has several such iron-ore-recovery operations running and in the works, and is planning to build a plant to turn its concentrate into pellets that can be used in a traditional steel mill.

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENTIRON RANGE
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