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Cleveland-Cliffs drops lawsuit against Minnesota DNR

Mining News - Published on Thu, 18 Apr 2019

Image Source: startribune.com
Star Tribune reported that Cleveland-Cliffs dismissed its lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this week, ending an eight-month battle in which the Ohio mining giant claimed it, and not a competitor, should be given mining permits to a controversial piece of land in Nashwauk. Cliffs terminated the lawsuit Monday in Ramsey County Court after an appellate court ruled against the company in a second, but related, lawsuit it had filed against the DNR and the competitor, Mesabi Metallics. Both lawsuits had to do with issues that arose in conjunction with Mesabi’s efforts to revive Essar Steel Minnesota’s $1.9 billion taconite project in Nashwauk.

Cliffs operates Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite and Northshore Mining on Minnesota’s Iron Range and bought a piece of land in Nashwauk after Mesabi failed to meet a financing deadline on it. The land is adjacent to where the Essar Steel project is.

Cliffs requested that the state transfer mining permits it believes are related to its parcel of land from Essar Steel/Mesabi. After the request was denied, the company sued DNR and Mesabi Metallics over the issue.

The lawsuit alleged that Cliffs had purchased or leased thousands of acres of land surrounding the half-built Essar Steel Minnesota plant and that Cliffs therefore deserved the right to mine the land.

Cliffs also filed a separate, second lawsuit against the DNR and Mesabi demanding that water appropriation permits be reissued to Cliffs instead of Mesabi Metallics. That lawsuit also accused Mesabi of trespassing on its property in Nashwauk.

An opinion issued Monday by Appellate Court Judge Denise Reilly ruled that Cliffs did not have the right to demand that DNR issue Cliffs water appropriations permits over Mesabi Metallics.

That court filing dismissed Cliffs’ claim and said the company suffered no real harm in the case. It also said that Mesabi correctly held the right to pump and appropriate water from the Nashwauk site’s mining pits. The court opinion noted various actions the DNR and Mesabi recently took to ensure that Mesabi was accessing its land without venturing onto Cliffs’ property.

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 18 Apr 2019
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