"They did a great job out there," Seitz said. "We have a safe work site."
Gogebic Taconite has said the guards, who have worn masks and carried assault rifles, are necessary to keep the mining sites safe because of protesters have staged demonstrations against the mine. The guards have proved controversial and on Monday a pair of local politicians sent a letter to Gogebic Taconite asking them to use a less heavily armed security force and saying the guards "intimidate local citizens."
The guards have been linked to an Arizona company, Bulletproof Securities. However, Gogebic Taconite has not confirmed what contractor they used to provide the guards.