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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- A representative from a company considering mining iron ore west of Cedar City told city officials and residents the operation could bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
Russ Fotheringham, a Palladon Ventures Ltd. business developer, met Tuesday with Mayor Gerald Sherratt and residents.
Fotheringham said the company estimates that about 400 jobs could be created as a direct result of the mining operation, and there would be about 1,200 indirect jobs. 'This deposit is a world-class deposit, known far outside Utah," he said.
The company estimates there are enough iron ore assets to last at least 40 years.
It's the largest deposit in the West, with the highest concentration of iron in the United States, he said.
The company, which has not yet done a feasibility study, envisions developing the project in three stages. The first would be to mine the ore and sell it to create a cash flow. The second phase would be to build a plant to process the ore. The third would be to manufacture steel products.
The company hopes to get into the first phase by the end of the year after completing a feasibility study that is to start in about a month and be completed about October.
Resident York Jones, former mine manager for Utah International, said he believed a lot of the information was premature because the company had not completed a feasibility study.
Fotheringham said the company's plant would run on coal and use a high-smelting process that is environmentally friendly and is being used in Australia.
Jones said the only plant he knew of that used the proposed process was one in western Australia that failed.
Another resident said he is concerned because the company seems to have such little experience and lost $2 million on its last financial statement.
Fotheringham said the Canadian-based company has confidence it can make this project work and has entered into a 50-50 partnership with Luxor Capital Group, which is based in New York.
Fotheringham said permits already are in place to begin the operation. They were part of the purchase of the Comstock/Mountain Lion and Rex ore deposits.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)