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Construction of iron ore pellet plant in White County underway

Mike Loizzo
WBAA Radio

A multi-million dollar project in White County has begun. Minnesota-based Magnetation is building a $350 million plant in Reynolds that will recycle iron waste to produce iron ore concentrate. The company is working with AK Steel, which will use the iron pellets produced there.

Magnetation CEO Larry Lehtinen says the facility will use the latest technology to make it one of the most efficient plants of its kind.

“When you build something of this magnitude, you want to use the latest, greatest technology that’s available to you, both from an efficiency standpoint and from an environmental/stewardship standpoint,” he says. “We’ve done both in this case.”

Local, state and company officials held a ceremony to kick-off construction Tuesday. The company expects to create 115 jobs by 2015. Lehtinen says about 30 have been hired already. He says the average worker salary is $65,000 in pay and benefits.

Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says the money invested and the jobs created are a huge boost for the county and the state.

“We’re very excited about what it brings, not only in the direct jobs, but spin-off jobs,” she says. “Those will be coming from suppliers and other work that will be done in the community in support of this facility.”

Magnetation is receiving up to $1.5 million in conditional tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and another $200,000 for worker training. The plant could be operating as soon as the fourth quarter of 2014.

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