The strong global mining industry is fueling more job growth in northeastern Minnesota. A Duluth foundry has announced a $12 million expansion that will create 30 new jobs.
ME Global is adding a third arc furnace to its Duluth plant that melts down huge amounts of scrap metal. The plant uses the metal to make large replacement parts for mining companies.
Plant Manager Bill Grau says mines are operating at full capacity and they quickly wear through parts that crush and grind the rock.
"They're good for anywhere between three and six months, and then they have to replace all the components inside the mill again," he said.
The company spent another $10 million on an expansion last year. Grau says the new jobs pay about $50,000 a year. When the new furnace is completed this fall he says the foundry will employ nearly 200 people.
About half the foundry's customers are on the Iron Range, and the rest are mainly copper mines around the world.