STEEL: Taconite Boom

In the drive to expand industrial production, the Defense Production Administration last week okayed the biggest single quick-tax-write-off in its history: a $298 million project for Minnesota's Erie Mining Co. Most businessmen had never heard of the company and they were baffled by its purpose, which is to "beneficiate" an ore named taconite.

Erie Mining is owned by Bethlehem Steel and Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., and the U.S. will soon hear a lot more about taconite, an iron-bearing rock which spreads over much of Minnesota's Mesabi and adjoining ranges. Though Mesabi's...

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