Reynolds prepares for Magnetation shutdown

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

REYNOLDS, Ind. (WLFI) — A White County iron ore pellet plant announced it’s shutting its doors for good.

This comes after months of uncertainty about the facility’s future.

“It’s just all these people,” said White County resident Natasha Curtis. “What are they going to do now?”

On Thursday, 165 people found out they would soon be without a job.

Just two years after opening in Reynolds, Magnetation LLC announced it was unable to keep its plant from shutting down.

Curtis said she’s worried about her uncle who works at the plant.

“I don’t really know what he’s going to do,” Curtis said. “He just got married and took on a few kids that weren’t his, so.”

However, Reynolds Town Board President Scott Denton said the community will stay strong.

“It’s not something I see a bunch of other small businesses in Reynolds going out because [Magnetation] isn’t there, but it will be hard for them if they don’t have that extra revenue,” Denton explained.

The closure comes after a purchase agreement between Magnetation and AK Steel Pellet was terminated following a bankruptcy judge’s decision to approve the Global Settlement Agreement.

The company says local management teams will be contacting all employees regarding the wind-down process, but Denton is optimistic another company will come in and reopen an iron ore pellet facility.

“Once the stain of the tremendous amount of debt that MagPellet has is gone, I think investors will see the great potential that’s there,” said Denton.

In August, the company released a federal notice stating no employees will be laid off until Oct. 25.

Curtis said she hopes people who are impacted are able to get back on their feet quick.

“It disappoints me for the people who are going to lose their jobs, and really that’s just the ‘bottom feeders,'” said Curtis. “You know, all those ‘big wigs,’ they don’t have anything to worry about.”

News 18 reached out to Magnetation President Matt Lehtinten but did not receive an immediate response.