United Steelworkers, NewRange Copper Nickel sign MoU in critical minerals mining in northeastern Minnesota, building on shared value of responsible mining, providing economic opportunity to workers and surrounding communities while protecting environment

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August 17, 2023 (press release) –

MINNEAPOLIS—The United Steelworkers (USW) Tuesday announced that the union reached an agreement to work together with NewRange Copper Nickel LLC ( New Range ) as it looks to mine a variety of critical minerals in northeastern Minnesota .

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez , who represents workers in Minnesota and eight other states, said that it is essential that new mines continue the tradition of providing good, community-sustaining jobs.

"USW jobs on the Iron Range are safer and pay more than ever thanks to the leadership, hard work and dedication of union members," said Ramirez. "The next generation of workers also deserves the rights, benefits and security of a fair, union contract."

NewRange, a joint venture between Polymet Mining Corp. and Teck Resources Limited , holds deposits for copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metal (PGM) minerals needed for meeting the country's growing clean energy and transportation needs.

"USW members and their families have lived and worked in Minnesota's Iron Range for generations. As we look to the future, it's essential that we're building out all our domestic supply chains," said Ramirez. "That begins with mining."

Tannice McCoy , general manager of NewRange, said she similarly looks forward to working with the USW to develop a domestic source of critical minerals needed for the clean energy economy.

"We are pleased to make this important cooperation agreement with the United Steelworkers ," said McCoy. "It is built on the shared value of responsible mining that provides economic opportunity to workers and surrounding communities while protecting the environment."


The USW (www.usw.org) represents 850,000 workers employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in tech, public sector and service occupations.

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Dan Rivard
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