Magnetation, an iron ore processing company headquartered in Grand Rapids, said today it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a deal with its creditors.
The company, hard hit by a drop in iron ore prices, had earlier announced the closing of a plant in Keewatin. The Grand Rapids Review Herald notes that in the Magnetation announcement today, the company says it intends to continue to pay employee wages and provide health care and other benefits at its other facilities.
State Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk quickly responded with this statement to the bankruptcy filing:
Every legislator dreads hearing an announcement that a large employer in their region is in trouble. The immediate questions that follow are: What can we do to help? Could we have prevented this? In Northern Minnesota we have been asking ourselves these questions all too frequently, as layoff notice after layoff notice – and now a bankruptcy filing – has been handed down.
This bankruptcy filing is yet another moment where we must ask ourselves how we can help. The reality is, our iron ore industry is no longer competitive in a global market. There are many factors causing this, one of which is the cost of energy. It is why I remain supportive of legislation to provide limited energy cost relief for our natural resource industries including iron ore.