Barker and banner depart Duluth

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The James R. Barker departed Duluth in the early evening of June 3, 2017, with her new banner in full view. For more on the banner see the two posts below or go here and here.
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Mustang pellets on the way to Indiana

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Above, on Friday evening, June 2, 2017, the Isolda was still loading grain at Riverland Ag, above lower center and the James R. Barker  had arrived, around 4 pm in the afternoon and was getting fuel at Calumet (top, right). When she completed that, she went over to CN Duluth (below) to load the first cargo of Mustang pellets to come down from the iron range on its way to ArcelorMittal’s blast furnace No. 7 in Indiana Harbor. See story below or here. To celebrate the occasion, Interlake hung a banner (below) on the Barker’s self unloader (one on each side) so every one could celebrate the big event as they make the trip from Duluth to Indiana Harbor. In the pictures below, they had not yet started to load the pellets but they soon did and she is expected to leave sometime Saturday afternoon.
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Mustang pellets from the Iron Range

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The James R. Barker arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge about 4pm. She is here to pick up the first of many cargos of Mustang iron ore pellets created at Cliffs Natural Resources facilities on the Iron Range. The Barker will deliver the new pellets to Cliffs’ customer ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in Indiana Harbor (the largest blast furnace in North America). The iron ore is mined at UTAC’s “Thunderbird” mine in Eveleth and transported approximately 10 miles by rail to the “Fairlane” plant in Forbes where limestone and dolomite are added to the iron ore.

The pellets are created to maximize the efficiency of this particular blast furnace. Some of this processing was previously done at the blast furnace, thus saving ArcelorMittal time and money at their end. It has higher levels of limestone and dolomite than standard iron ore pellets that allow it to more easily flow through blast furnace No. 7. Cliffs started production of their new Mustang superflux pellet in mid-May. They built a storage facility, silos, a limestone crusher, conveyors and rail infrastructure to support the production of the pellets and their transfer to railcars for the short trip to the CN dock in Duluth.

The mine, located in Eveleth, was constructed in the mid-1960’s by Ford Motor Company. In honor of Ford, the pellets are called “Mustang” pellets, mined at UTAC’s “Thunderbird” mine in Eveleth and shipped to the “Fairlane” plant in Forbes, Minnesota for more processing before being loaded onto rail cars and shipped to Duluth.

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Barker picture taken on July 15, 2015 as she was departing Duluth with coal. Picture just above, courtesy of Cliffs Natural Resources, shows some of the first Mustang pellets created at the new facility.

Barker last thousand footer to leave

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The James R. Barker departed Duluth late this afternoon (January 12, 2017) with a cargo of iron ore pellets she loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth. That is the Great Lakes Towing tug Kentucky assisting her through the Duluth harbor. She is the last 1,000 footer to depart the Twin Ports this season. Four other 1,000-footers are already in port for winter layup: the Paul R. Tregurtha, American Spirit, Burns Harbor and the American Century
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Barker runs local deliveries

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The James R. Barker departed Duluth today (July 15, 2015) with 58,000 tons of coal for Marquette, Michigan that she just completed loading at Midwest Energy Resources. She was just back from taking the same amount of coal to the Minnesota Power plant at Taconite Harbor. Thousand footers do not usually spend so much time making ‘local’ deliveries within Lake Superior. This was her 20th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 43 times last year. Above, how she looked approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge today; below, how she sounded.

Friday night, let’s have a party

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The salt water vessel Eider (the green one) came into port on June 16th to discharge a lot of pipe at the Port Terminal. Eleven days later (June 26, 2015), they are still here. Maybe they decided to test out Duluth night life and invite a few new friends over. The Great Republic (in the middle) and the James R. Barker (in back) arrived on time, but it appears the Barker had to leave early; must be another party in Superior.

3 arrivals on November 7, 2014

The Philip R. Clarke, James R. Barker and CSL Niagara came into port under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon, November 7, 2014.