DON BLANKENSHIP

Associated Press
 
GARY, Ind. (AP) -- U.S. Steel has scaled back steelmaking at its massive northwestern Indiana mill because the ice-covered Great Lakes have cut off the mill's access to vital iron ore.

The company says in a letter to its customers that it has reduced production at the Gary Works complex's blast furnaces and steelmaking due to "unprecedented ice conditions on the Great Lakes."

The Times of Munster reports (http://bit.ly/QMW0D4 ) that treacherous ice covering much of Lake Superior has prevented ships from hauling iron ore from Minnesota's Iron Range to northwestern Indiana steel mills.

The Gary Works complex is the nation's largest steel mill, stretching seven miles along Lake Michigan. It can produce 7.5 million net tons of steel a year.

More than 5,800 employees who work at the mill continue to report to work.

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