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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 22, 2017, 2:19 am 

Joined: April 25, 2010, 3:28 pm
Posts: 47
The dock at Escanaba's fate was sealed when the Empire Mine closed.
Either Marquette or Escanaba had to be closed, the cost of maintaining both docks was more than the traffic would bear. With Cliff's owning the LS&I and its dock at Marquette, the choice was obvious.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 10:58 pm 
There has been ore shipped out of escanaba for over 160 years, the current dock is a high maintenance system, the capacity of the dock is not an issue, rail service is not an issue. One of the advantages has been the ability to ship earlier and later in the year, however economics apparently do not support keeping it open. Commercial shipping on the Great Lakes may soon be a memory,


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 9:26 pm 

Joined: December 6, 2014, 3:43 pm
Posts: 406
Just to clarify, the Back 40 Project is not an iron ore mine. They hope to mine for zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver. Per their permit application the open pit portion of the mine, which has been permitted, would create about 100,000 tons of zinc,copper and lead concentrate per year to be shipped out. That's roughly 3 rail cars per day (or 6 Michigan trucks per day), for a 7 year life span.

There is also a proposed underground portion but I think its tonnages are even smaller.

Its not the kind of mining project that needs a facility like the Escanaba ore docks.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 1:14 pm 
the mine lafave was talking about is the back fourty,strying to get permits


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 9:23 am 
Guest wrote:
JFB wrote:
The Escanaba Ore Dock is scheduled to close by the end of April 2017.

http://upperpeninsula.biz/cn-close-esca . end-april/


This paragraph was in the article about the Escanaba dock closing.

“I offered reasons on why they would be able to stay,” LaFave said. “I think there is a decent chance that mine is going to come in in Menominee County so I said if that comes in wouldn’t you be able to transmit some of that stuff but I guess they did an economic analysis and unless the environment changes politically or economically they think it’s not going to be viable,”

Who is developing this potential mine? First I've read about it. Too bad to read about the closing. Loaded there once on the Clarke in the 70s. Was nice to load at a dock where you didn't have to shift.


Forgot to put my name on the above post.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 9:00 am 
JFB wrote:
The Escanaba Ore Dock is scheduled to close by the end of April 2017.

http://upperpeninsula.biz/cn-close-esca . end-april/


This paragraph was in the article about the Escanaba dock closing.

“I offered reasons on why they would be able to stay,” LaFave said. “I think there is a decent chance that mine is going to come in in Menominee County so I said if that comes in wouldn’t you be able to transmit some of that stuff but I guess they did an economic analysis and unless the environment changes politically or economically they think it’s not going to be viable,”

Who is developing this potential mine? First I've read about it. Too bad to read about the closing. Loaded there once on the Clarke in the 70s. Was nice to load at a dock where you didn't have to shift.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 21, 2017, 2:26 am 

Joined: April 25, 2010, 3:28 pm
Posts: 47
The Escanaba Ore Dock is scheduled to close by the end of April 2017.

http://upperpeninsula.biz/cn-close-esca . end-april/


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 20, 2017, 10:52 pm 

Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:36 pm
Posts: 554
Denny wrote:
This is a small bit off subject but . I just read on the KYS Facebook page, an article stating that sometime in the next month that CN will be shutting down the Escanaba Ore Dock. It mentions in an article that it may have something to do with the Empire Mine in Michigan's U.P. having been closed or shutdown? From the sounds of it, this could be a tough blow to the shipping companies and their customers . Now it will be interesting to see what will happen next and if more traffic will instead be diverted to Lake Superior ports such as Marquette, Duluth, Two Harbors or Silver Bay?


Cleveland Cliffs is replacing the iron ore pellet tonnage that was shut down at Empire with a new fluxed pellet that will shortly begin production at United Taconite in Eveleth, MN. That should mean the pellets feeding Indiana Harbor from Escanaba will now be loaded at CN Duluth instead. That will actually keep a handful of lakers busier, since the run from Duluth to Indiana Harbor has a bit more mileage to it than the old one from Escanaba. In addition the fact that the new pellets are fluxed (meaning limestone baked in at the pellet plant) will likely lead to a new upbound flow of several hundred thousand tons of limestone per year to Duluth, meaning a bit of extra business for the lake fleet as well.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 20, 2017, 10:19 pm 
This is a small bit off subject but, we may not be talking much more about Escanaba and the Ore Loading dock there. I just read on the KYS Facebook page, an article stating that sometime in the next month that CN will be shutting down the Escanaba Ore Dock. It mentions in an article that it may have something to do with the Empire Mine in Michigan's U.P. having been closed or shutdown? From the sounds of it, this could be a tough blow to the shipping companies and their customers. Especially like you mentioned with big companies such as Interlake, ASC and GLF and don't forget also that Central Marine loads their quite a bit as well with both the Block and the Sykes and also the Great Lakes Trader as also been loading there a lot as well. Escanaba was good for the simple fact that ships could load there either before the Soo Locks opened or after they closed for the season. Now it will be interesting to see what will happen next and if more traffic will instead be diverted to Lake Superior ports such as Marquette, Duluth, Two Harbors or Silver Bay? Could even see the Sykes now more often at least up in Lake Superior loading ore. Guess we will have to wait and see?


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 20, 2017, 8:36 pm 

Joined: December 7, 2014, 8:11 am
Posts: 71
Guest wrote:
It would probably be a lot cheaper to develop infrastructure to facilitate loading at a Lake Michigan port.



I hear your thoughts and respect that. However.. As I know it, there is only one true loading port on Lake Michigan for ore, and that is Escanaba. No port for coal.

I'm sure there's been a cost/benefit analysis done on the idea of transporting (by rail or truck) all of the ore and coal that comes out of the Duluth/Superior harbors, let alone the Two Harbors and Silver Bay area.

To transport that via rail to a Lake Michigan loading point has to be expensive. It's one thing to transport the pellets from the Tildon/Empire mines just south of Marquette to Escanaba. But from the Mesabi Range area to Escanaba? And for coal from Wyoming/Montana to Escanaba without the rails to handle that?

How much capacity for loading can Escanaba handle? Can they do coal too? If they could, how would that effect other vessels waiting for ore? What other port can accommodate fully loaded vessels? Sturgeon Bay? Can they handle that kind of rail/truck traffic there for inbound overland shipments? The questions can go on and on.

Surely this would be a private venture (i.e., a publicly held company) that would want to buy the property, convince the Corp of Engineers to dredge. And that company would need some assurance from publicly held companies like Interlake, ASC, and GLF to load their vessels with pellets/coal at their facilities on Lake Michigan before they even decided they would start such work on infrastructure improvements.

The question becomes this: would Interlake, ASC, GLF take on contracts from a company that has to pay a higher transport costs to get product to their dock and find a willing customer in Detroit, Gary, Cleveland, etc that is okay with that? I'm thinking not.

The end result might be better served having our tax dollars used to build a redundant lock rather than seeing the amount of money spent by a company pouring hundreds of millions into developing infrastructure, and subsequently passing that cost on to the end user so they can realize a dividend for their stockholders which eventually drives up the cost of the price of steel/coal we all use.

If it was something that would be viable for some company to invest in, I think it would have been done by now.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 20, 2017, 10:34 am 
It would probably be a lot cheaper to develop infrastructure to facilitate loading at a Lake Michigan port.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 20, 2017, 10:12 am 
I agree that spending millions of dollars into a new locks would be a waste of money. A more economical solution would be to develop a quality maintenance program to update current locks.

The spending of a billion or so dollars for new ice breaker would also be a government waste. On my last trip on the old Mackinaw the xo, mentioned "if companies did better planning and storage of goods and materials, and waited two to three weeks for a spring thaw, we would be out of business"


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 18, 2017, 3:56 pm 
As Marc pointed out, it would mean recession.
Also we would quickly develop an appetite for foreign steel. The American steel industry would be damaged badly and with all this foreign steel coming in would mean lower quality products.


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 18, 2017, 8:45 am 
glpilot wrote:
Sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into a project that benefits about twenty ships is utter insanity. Few people outside of the Great Lakes Basin know or care locks exist on the St. Mary's river. The general public sees the need for putting money into roads, bridges and other infrastructure, not pet projects for a few elites.

Just because people don't know the Soo Locks exist doesn't mean the economy would suffer if the Poe Lock were to fail. An expensive DHS study from October of 2015 concluded that if the Poe were to fail, the entire country could be cast into recession.

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/03/soo_locks_breakdown_would_plun.html


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 Post subject: Re: New Soo Lock
Unread postPosted: March 18, 2017, 8:39 am 
Another factor in favor is number of seawaymax bulkers & self-unloaders recently built or being built. Believe all CSL and ACC seawaymax size use Poe lock


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