COLERAINE — Gov. Mark Dayton will bring his “Working for Minnesota Jobs” tour to the Iron Range today. And the focus will be what is the lifeblood of the region — mining, especially value-added operations.

Dayton and Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board Commissioner Tony Sertich will be at Magnetation Inc. from 9:30 to 10 a.m. But the tour will be closed to the public. Magnetation was founded in 2006. The company uses low-grade natural ore tailings to produce marketable iron ore concentrate.

The governor will then host a roundtable discussion of mining issues at 10 a.m. at the NRRI Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory.

Mining is a big industry for the state.

Minnesota is one of the largest iron ore producers,with more than 100 million tons of taconite mined each year.

And the industry contributed 5,800 direct jobs in the state, generating $474 million in wages.

In addition, the Range has about 4 billion tons of deposits of critical and strategic metals.

The Dayton administration’s mission statement on the jobs tour is looking ahead to the 2013 legislative session:

“The governor is meeting directly with business owners, workers and local leaders to seek input on what measures should be taken in the upcoming legislative session to enhance Minnesota’s economic competitiveness, stimulate private sector job growth, and open new doors of employment opportunity for Minnesota workers,” it reads.

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