Iron Range Company Seeks Patent For
Taconite-Based Water Filter
Published May 25, 2005
The developers of a high-tech new Iron Range plant are
working on a new use for the tons of taconite tailings
in northeastern Minnesota. Mesabi Nugget wants to use
the tailings to filter mercury out of huge volumes of
President Larry Lehtinen says his company has applied
for a patent for the Mesabi Nugget Mercury Filter, which
uses taconite tailings as a filtering agent.
He says early testing showed the filter removed more
than 90 percent of mercury from water. Lehtinen said that
if Mesabi Nugget's filter is proven to work on a large
scale, it could help municipal water treatment plants
and industries throughout the Great Lakes region meet
the federal emission standard for mercury in water.
By the end of July, Lehtinen says Mesabi Nugget will
have a pilot plant operating at Northshore Mining Company
in Silver Bay to demonstrate the filter.