Global steel slump with roots in China shakes mining towns

AURORA, Minn. (AP) — A global steel industry slump with roots in China has shaken a corner of Minnesota that produces most of America’s iron ore.

The impact is particularly visible in Aurora, a century-old mining community on the Mesabi Iron Range. After a nearby iron plant closed last May, the town lost its only dentist a month later, its lone pharmacy in August, and its only grocery store in January.

Three of Minnesota’s six iron mines are idle, resulting in more than 2,000 direct layoffs in the past year. The aftershocks have cost the regional economy more than 3,000 other jobs. Experts blame the dumping of cheap subsidized Chinese steel on U.S. markets.

Aurora City Council Member David Lislegard (LISS’-le-gard) says they’re in trying times and need somebody to listen.