The Minnesota Executive Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to cut the mineral royalty rates mining companies pay to take iron ore off land where the state holds the mineral rights.
The council voted to cut rates by 19 percent, retroactively to April, and to keep the rates down through next June.
This round of cuts are aimed at ArcelorMittal’s Minorca mine in Virginia and well as Hibbing Taconite and NorthShore Mining. Cliffs Natural Resources owns NorthShore and is co-owner and manager of Hibbing Taconite.
The state would lose nearly $900,000 in royalties due to the cuts assuming production levels continue.
The royalties go into education and other state funds.
The rate cuts are intended to help cut costs and keep companies operating to avoid layoffs as the industry founders.
A similar break on royalties was given to U.S. Steel’s Minntac operations earlier this year, and could top $4 million in savings for the company. The other companies applied for the break immediately after the U.S. Steel cuts were approved by the council.
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