Minnesota reinstates mineral leases for Chippewa Capital Partner - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Minnesota reinstates mineral leases for Chippewa Capital Partners

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 An Iron Range mine is one step closer to reality. 

On Wednesday, Governor Mark Dayton announced the Minnesota DNR has completed its final review of documents submitted by Chippewa Capital Partners, and had approved the reinstatement after the company met multiple terms. 

Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC, obtained the former Essar plant.

Essar declared bankruptcy in 2015, and Tom Clarke, a Virginia businessman, has been working to reinstate mineral rights for the area.  

According to the DNR's review, Chippewa Capital Partners was able to satisfy the following terms laid out in its settlement agreement: 

  • Accelerate all remaining payments owed to contractors under the settlement agreement by December 31, 2017
  • Extend a $4 million letter of credit to the NR to secure royalty payments by January 9
  • Execute off-take agreements for at least 4.2 MMTPA of pellets by May 31, 2018
  • Execute a binding and enforceable construction agreement with a nationally-recognized Engineering, procurement and construction firm that is acceptable to lenders and the DNR for completion of a pellet plant by May 31, 2018
  • Secure the Superior Mineral Resources LLC's mineral holdings at the side by June 30, 2018
  • Close transactions for at least $850 million in binding and enforceable debt/equity commitments by June 30, 2018
  • Meet an ongoing commitment to perform or cure all obligations arising on or after December 21, 2017

Governor Dayton released the following statement on Wednesday: 

"The project's emergence from bankruptcy in December 2017 was an important step toward Chippewa Capital Partners' goal of finishing the plant's construction and beginning production.  The agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) required Chippewa to meet certain conditions in order to reinstate the State of Minnesota's mineral leases.  After a detailed review, the DNR has determined that the company has satisfied those terms. Therefore, the State's mineral leases are reinstated, which allows Chippewa to move forward with construction and production.  I thank Chippewa for its continued commitment.  The company's success will bring new jobs and economic vitality to the Iron Range."

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