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ArcelorMittal USA taking over as managing partner for Iron Range Mine

The Cedarglen ore carrier docks in Duluth, Minnesota, to take on a load in 2011. ArcelorMittal USA is taking over as managing partner for the Hibbing Taconite Company that also operates in the Iron Range in northern Minnesota.

Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA will step up as managing partner of Hibbing Taconite Co. in Minnesota's Iron Range, which supplies iron ore via lake freighters to ArcelorMittal's steel mills in Northwest Indiana.

The steelmaker, which already had a majority ownership stake in the eight-million-ton capacity iron ore mine in northern Minnesota, said it plans to make no changes to the mine's operations, production volumes or ownership. U.S. Steel also has a 14.7 percent interest in the mine.

“ArcelorMittal is responsible for a significant portfolio of raw material and mining assets throughout the world, producing more than 62 million tons of iron ore last year," ArcelorMittal USA President and CEO John Brett said. "This includes our Minorca Mine operation located just 30 minutes northeast of the Hibbing property."

Brett will have functional oversight of the mine when ArcelorMittal assumes its role as managing partner over the next eight months. ArcelorMittal USA plans to honor a recently ratified labor contract between the United Steelworkers union and Hibbing Taconite, which employs about 735 hourly and salaried workers.

"Assuming the role of managing partner demonstrates ArcelorMittal’s continued commitment to Hibbing Taconite while ensuring the long-term supply of quality iron ore to our key operations in the United States,” Brett said.

The Hibbing Taconite Company mine opened in 1976 and produced 7.7 million tons of magnetite ore last year.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.