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Production is up at Minnesota's taconite plants

Output at the half-dozen taconite plants in the state is up more than ten percent compared to a year ago. And the forecast for next year suggests production could be the highest in more than a decade.
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Output at the half-dozen taconite plants in the state is up more than ten percent compared to a year ago. And the forecast for next year suggests production could be the highest in more than a decade.

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Federal regulators say Minn. taconite plants must cut emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is imposing new air pollution regulations for the taconite industry in northern Minnesota that go beyond state regulations. The Duluth News Tribune reports the new federal rules require plants to install technology to reduce smokestack emissions that cause haze and lung ailments.

State and local governments hope for windfall as taconite mines expand

The Duluth News Tribune says some taconite mines are running out of room and looking to expand, and much of the land ringing the mines belongs to the public, which could mean millions of dollars flowing to the state of Minnesota and St. Louis County.

Minnesota mining jobs, wages highest in more than a decade

The number of taconite jobs in 2011 was up nearly 11 percent compared to the year before, according to figures by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Wages in 2011 were also the highest since 2000 -- totaling $357 million. The Iron Range took a major hit during the recession in 2009 when all six of Minnesota's taconite plants temporarily shut down.