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LORAIN, Ohio- A partnership between Republic Steel and a Minnesota iron ore company says it plans to restart a northeast Ohio blast furnace that’s been idle since 2016.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports Lorain Pig Iron LLC says the furnace capable of producing 1 million tons of pig iron annually could be operating at the Lorain mill by the end of 2018. The partnership between Republic and ERP Iron Ore is considering restarting a second furnace at the mill to produce pig iron used in steel production.

The newspaper reports that 200 workers were laid off in 2016 when the mill was idled and that more than 1,000 Lorain steelworkers have been laid off.

A United Steelworkers Union official says the union hasn’t received any details about how many workers would be needed