‘Iron man’ is back on the Mesabi with another new idea

Jul 30, 2008 | 01:33 PM |

The search for competitive iron alternatives in the currently high-priced raw materials market has sparked a new company with a veteran industry executive at its helm to step up to the plate.

The company, Magnetation Inc., Nashwauk, Minn., hopes to produce additional raw material for the North American steel industry by late summer using mineral leftovers from years of iron ore mining in northern Minnesota. It has developed a patent-pending mineral processing technology capable of recovering iron ore concentrate from such materials as hematite—classified as non-magnetic, though actually very weakly magnetic—that are left in lean ore stockpiles and natural ore tailing basins scattered across Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range.

Larry Lehtinen, chairman of Magnetation, has 30 years' experience with established and entrepreneurial ventures in the iron ore industry. He opted to create the new enterprise for partially personal and partially professional reasons. "The main reason is a man can only golf so much," he quipped. "I am a mining engineer by training and I did work similar to this in my early career so I have a soft spot in my heart for this kind of technology."....

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