March 11, 2023: Worldwide, the iron mining and steel industries are at a turning point, say the authors of a recent article in the Mining issue of Hometown Focus, published on Minnesota’s Iron Range. Climate change is driving a swift decarbonization of the iron-to-steel process in the US and abroad, and that’s a huge opportunity for the Range to innovate and prosper.
“The Range has the natural resources (iron ore and water), skilled workers and training infrastructure, strategic positions on the transportation and energy grids, and access to renewable energy. With these assets, the steel-making process can be reimagined from start to finish,” said the authors— possibly bringing green steel-making facilities and value-added businesses directly to mining areas. Ramped-up renewable energy production, and the battery technologies needed to optimize it, could also bring investment.
On the Range, innovation has opened doors to prosperity in the past, as with the development of taconite processing when high-grade ore ran short in the 1950s. It’s time to innovate again, or be left behind as the world changes.
Read the article in full online or as a PDF. Its seven authors are affiliated with the Northland chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, seeking solutions that address climate change and provide good jobs for Northern Minnesota. Reach them here. Pictured: CCL chapter meeting in Duluth. Source: CCL Northland’s web page