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Great Lakes Article:

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 water.

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.

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