Back to the mines

May 29, 2008

May 29 (The Spectrum) – Iron County’s namesake is being restored with the reopening of the Comstock/Mountain Lion mine by Palladon Ventures, Inc. The company, based in Salt Lake City, is a junior exploration and development business focused on redeveloping the iron mines at Iron Mountain. It’s portfolio has exposure to gold and precious metals through exploration-stage projects in Utah, Nevada and Argentina.

Once the iron mines are back in production, which is anticipated later this year, Palladon will be selling 2 million metric tons of iron ore a year to China. The projected jobs and tax revenue that will be restored to the county is being welcomed to rekindle the iron works that will bring to fruition early settler John Urie’s words spoken a century ago and quoted in the book, “A History of Iron County: Community Above Self:” “Iron County, with her vast coal fields and inexhaustible amount of the best iron ore in the world, is destined … to be a vast business center. It needs but the magic touch of money, railroads, and business tact.”

For decades, the mines have symbolized the county’s heritage, industrial strength and economic vitality. When the mines closed, as they have repeatedly over the years, they did not take with them Iron County’s character of perseverance and faith. Those values have stood the test of time and are all the more strengthened with the renewed mining production of iron ore that will eventually aid the United States by making a small dent in the huge trade deficit the country has with China.

Cedar City/Iron County Economic Development Director Bryan Dangerfield said, “This is a significant project in our county’s history, and we hope to bring iron back to Iron County.”

We agree. The Asian nation’s insatiable appetite for the metal and the ore used to make it brings with it a strange twist to the local economy that has lamented the loss of jobs with outsourcing to countries abroad, including China. It appears the cycle of the county’s iron mining history is on the upswing and now will produce jobs for county workers whose families have worked the mines for generations.

Palladon’s reopening of the mines is a much-welcomed business enterprise because it is a part of the restoration movement to bring balance between the imported and exported goods coming in and out of this country to and from China.

With the value of the dollar down and steel prices soaring, iron mining has a promising future for Iron County and the entire state of Utah once the transportation element of shipping is solidified.

Whether the demand is five years or five decades, Iron County is enroute to returning to its founding mission of iron mining. That is history worth repeating and worth celebrating.


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