Last week the mining company Cleveland Cliffs reported a record second-quarter profit of 13 percent. Higher sales volume in both North America and Asia-Pacific are solid evidence that the company has truly achieved a global presence.

This is good for all of us in Northeast Minnesota, where Cliffs has major interest in taconite mines at Hibbing, Eveleth and Northshore along Lake Superior.

Recent revelations have shown a significant spike in mining-related illness and death attributed to mesothelioma. This has generated interest in yet another study from the Legislature, the U of M, Mine Safety and Health Administration and last, but not least, the Minnesota Department of Health.

Studies are good but action is better.

I implore Cleveland Cliffs to invest in new, available and certainly affordable technologies and equipment to better mitigate workers’ exposure to taconite dust in all phases of the taconite process, including blasting and grinding.

An investment of this magnitude by Cliffs at its operations in Hibbing, Eveleth and Northshore, together with the renewed commitment outlined by the U of M to research the issue, will finally solve this problem instead of the delay and denial that has gone on for decades.

The people I represent along the Western Mesabi deserve nothing less, as do all the citizens of Northeast Minnesota.

Letter to the editor from Tom Anzelc- State Rep. Dist. 3A Balsam Township.

 

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