Magnetation will idle a plant this month, as anticipated


Layoffs at Magnetation's plant in Bovey will happen this month.

This was expected – the company announced in November potential plans to idle its Plant 2 facility, saying at the time federal law requires 60 days notice if there is potential for a layoff of more than 50 employees for over six months.

Plant 2 employs approximately 150 people, the company told BringMeTheNews in November. The production curtailment will happen Jan. 18, FOX 21 reports.

Magnetation said it needs to idle the plant due to decreasing demand for its iron ore product amid falling steel prices worldwide. Larry Lehtinen, CEO of Magnetation, said in November a curtailment is unfortunate, but “we must balance our current production with our customers’ needs to sustain our business in these challenging markets.”

He added that at this point there is no way to know how long the idling may last.

Magnetation, which owns two other iron ore concentrate plants in Keewatin and Grand Rapids, idled its Keewatin facility in March 2015, WDIO reported. It also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier that year.

After Plant 2's curtailment in Bovey, Magnetation will only have one plant in operation – its newest, the one just outside of Grand Rapids, the Duluth News Tribune says.

This is all in addition to the handful of other companies that idled their operations last year, which resulted in more than 1,500 jobs being lost in the region, MPR News reported.

The layoffs prompted Gov. Mark Dayton and other lawmakers to say they support a special session that would extend unemployment benefits to roughly 600 laid-off steelworkers who would otherwise see benefits run out.

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