REYNOLDS, Ind. (WLFI) - About 150 people attended an open house with Magnetation LLC company officials at the Reynolds Elementary School gym Wednesday evening.
"To have this turnout in a community like Reynolds means a lot to us," said Magnetation President Matt Lehtinen. "We hope people are able to see that we care a lot about what we do and we care a lot about engaging the people here."
As News 18 reported last week, the company is investing $350 million to build a plant in Reynolds, bringing 120 jobs with it.
As officials explained to the crowd Thursday, recycled iron ore from abandoned waste piles near old iron mines in Minnesota will be transformed into iron ore pellets at the Reynolds plant. The pellets will be sent via the railroad to an Ohio company to be turned into high quality steel.
Though the open house was advertised, the crowd exceeded expectations for both the company and county officials.
"Everyone seems very excited, which makes us even more excited," said Lehtinen. "This is a very important project for our company.
The plant will be using the former VeraSun facility just north of Reynolds. Economic officials said VeraSun construction began back in 2007 on an ethanol plant before it went bankrupt in 2008.
"This project is a huge boost economically to the Reynolds area and to the whole county," said White County Commissioner John Heimlich.
Lehtinen hopes the plant is ready to go by the end of 2014. When complete, it's expected to produce 3 million tons of iron ore pellets annually.
He said the average compensation for employees will be around $65,000 a year.
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