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RELEASE: Rep. Lislegard cheers Executive Council action awarding Nashwauk leases to Cleveland-Cliffs

Thursday, May 25, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota Executive Council – consisting of the state’s five constitutional officers – unanimously voted to approve the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ recommendation to award mineral leases at the former Mesabi Metallics site in Nashwauk to Cleveland-Cliffs.

Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL – Aurora) issued the following statement:

“This is a fantastic day for the Iron Range. The seemingly endless 15-year debacle under the prior operators – full of missed deadlines, failed payments, and broken promises – has finally reached an end. I’ve worked hard to tell the story of the ways these bad actors have harmed our region and how we must learn from prior missteps. I’m deeply grateful to the DNR for all of their exhaustive work to get this process right. I’m also thankful for the Executive Council members who thoughtfully listened to the people on the Iron Range who have come together with a collective voice saying it’s time to go in a different direction. Particularly, I’m appreciative of Governor Walz for standing up for the workers, families, and communities of the Iron Range.

“This conclusion will benefit our region, the mining industry, and the state of Minnesota. Cliffs is the real deal, and has consistently shown dedication to our region and our communities. We all knew that without this solution, the forecast for Hibbing Taconite’s future was grim. The Executive Council’s action will ensure these crucial jobs can continue and families can have hope for a secure economic future. This outcome could not have been possible without the remarkable advocacy from our local leaders, our partners in labor, the business community, and others who contributed countless hours of hard work to finally turn the page to a new chapter, with new jobs, new opportunities, and a new positive outlook.”