Did you know that US iron ore mines are refining from low-grade ore ?
Why transport all that iron ore to the mine Kirk, why not build your mill in Brazil to start with ?
One of the expenses added to US Steel making has to do with refining then converting the taconite into iron ore which are found in mines of N. MN. (coincidentally when I was a kid, these pellets make great ammo for slingshots).
There are quite some energy demand to convert a *low grade* taconite to refine it the higher grade iron ore, not to mention shipping it through the channels of the great lakes then onto harbors to reach Gordon Steel.
Recently a Chinese company purchased a big mine in Northern MN, as to what they will do differently at the closed up Kirk mine that US engineers and MBA's and Kirk Gordon couldn't figure out when he was trying to figure out union costs?
It sort of reminds us of a movie years ago called "Gung Ho"
Plot Outline: When a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liaison must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor.
FYI: Brazil already has high-grade iron ore straight out of the earth Kirk, little need is there to pollute the atmosphere further compared to mine in MN when it is high grade ore to start with, but is it the only thing that will keep costs down ?.
Strategic alliances between Brazil and US steel makers should have been met decades ago when regulations in the US got tighter, afterall our remember our iron ore was low-grade anyway. Now that the future demand for steel is high due in part to China and third world countries in asia stabilizating this will further increase the demand for steel and the remainder gets imported to the US at dirt cheap prices.
The future of steel looks very bright indeed Kirk, as a matter of fact, Mittal has recently purchased an US steel mill. Where have the US investors been hiding in what is now the highest demand for Steel products in decades ?
Look at these pages Kirk there making money! and you can sit there and and tell me about saving the fish, wildlife, and the air we breath from evil polluters.
Short-term thinking ahead, stop lets take a breather a few steps back and try to imagine a major distribution point, meanwhile, as the ozone gets thinner the third world is no longer in third place and the only mass produced item from sea to shining sea is pizzas!
Meanwhile as a small mine feeds into a small mill to supply the growing industry of small fabrication shops, these are spread out like islands between city to city, everywhere to keep our cities and bridges from rusting out.
My advice to shop owners is don't sell your shop quite yet, hold on a while longer, small part machining will only be one part of your business in the future, as steel conglomerates merge, deals will be struck and this will create a growing demand for unique bigger items which are fabricated inside what resembles much like a machine shop. In the near future there will be a very great need for large heavy precise steel products, so save your investment on new equipment and get into the growing field of large scale precise steel fabrication. Once these steel conglomerates align their capital, you will start to see some lucrative success by partnering into one of their channels just like node on a big network. More of your small machined parts will be outsourced to the third, but these big machined parts structural components will grow and grow straight up, IMHO.