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U. S. Steel Names McConnell to Replace Swearingen as General Manager of Minnesota Ore Operations

Minntac's General Manager Since 1994 Is Retiring With 38 Years of Service


Charles C. Gedeon, executive vice president-raw materials & transportation of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), today announced the appointment of James D. McConnell as general manager of U. S. Steel's Minnesota Ore Operations (Minntac) effective April 1, 2003. McConnell will replace James E. Swearingen who is retiring after 38 years of company service.

"Jim Swearingen's leadership at Minntac should rank him among the giants of Minnesota's rich iron ore mining heritage," said Gedeon. "As general manager, Jim successfully guided Minntac through one of the most difficult periods in the history of the U.S. steel industry. During this period, Jim worked diligently both to avoid layoffs and to upgrade Minntac's operations. As a result, Minntac today is firmly entrenched as Minnesota's largest, most modern and efficient taconite pellet producer.

"Although Jim Swearingen will be missed," Gedeon added, "Jim McConnell has a strong, diversified mining background at U. S. Steel with past responsibilities ranging from engineering to commercial to administration. With his experience, I believe he will be able to build upon the firm foundation Jim Swearingen has laid at Minntac."

McConnell is currently vice president of employee relations and administrative services for U. S. Steel Mining Company, LLC (USM). The New Castle, Pa. native joined USM in 1977 as a management trainee in the Frick District in Uniontown, Pa., after earning a bachelor's degree in mining engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He became an operating engineer at Frick the following year, and in 1980, a process engineer for U. S. Steel in Pittsburgh.

In 1982, McConnell returned to USM as district mining engineer for the Decota District in Charleston, W.Va. He was promoted into the commercial area in 1987 as USM's manager of international sales in the Pittsburgh headquarters.

McConnell was named manager of engineering for USM's Northern District in 1989, and three years later was promoted to director of engineering for USM. In 1993, he became general manager of staff services, and he assumed his current responsibilities as vice president of employee relations and administrative services in 1996.

Swearingen, a resident of Aurora, Minn., is a native of Winona, Minn. He graduated from Winona State University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and mathematics and completed some post-graduate work in accounting at the University of Minnesota.

His career with U. S. Steel began in 1964 when he joined the company as a service representative in the St. Paul District Sales office. In 1977, he transferred to Minntac in Mt. Iron, Minn., where he held several positions in the Accounting Department including division analyst, supervisor of stores, and division supervisor for Analytical Accounting.

Swearingen was named manager of Accounting for Minntac in 1985 and remained in that position until he was named general manager in 1994.

Minntac is North America's largest mining and processing location for the production of taconite pellets, which are used to produce molten iron for the steel industry. Minntac has approximately 1,500 employees and produced 16.4 million net tons of taconite pellets in 2002.

SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation

CONTACT: Mike Dixon or John Armstrong, +1-412-433-6870, both of U. S.

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