DULUTH (AP) — U.S. Steel has announced it will lay off 260 workers at its Minntac operation in Mountain Iron as the coronavirus pandemic has cut demand for steel.

The layoffs were announced Friday. They will start May 10 and are expected to last from eight to 11 weeks.

"We all knew it was probably coming, unfortunately," United Steelworkers Local 1938 President Steve Bonach said. "We could go back sooner, but there are so many unknowns with the virus."

Minntac is the fourth Iron Range mine to lay off workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Hibtac, Keetac and Northshore Mining previously announced layoffs, meaning about 1,750 miners will be out of work over the next several months.

Minntac is the largest taconite operation in the state with a capacity of 16 million tons of iron ore annually.

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