Officials at Magnetation LLC have announced first production at their new pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana. Operations, they said, began three months ahead of schedule; facility construction began in Q2 2013.

CEO Larry Lehtinen praised the development as a “milestone” for Magnetation. “The accelerated timeline and safe execution,” he said, “is testament to our partners, stakeholders and the entire team.”

The facility is designed to produce 3 million metric tons (mt) of high-quality fluxed iron ore pellets to feed partner AK Steel’s blast furnaces in Middletown, Ohio, and Ashland, Kentucky.

The plant currently has 117 employees.

Magnetation is constructing another new iron ore concentrate plant near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, to supply additional concentrate to the Reynolds facility. The 2-million-mt/y plant is scheduled to begin operations in Q1 2015; the company owns three iron ore concentrate plants elsewhere in Wisconsin and a 3-million-mt/y iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds.