The state's economic development director says a planned $1.1 billion steel mill for northeast Arkansas is on pace to close on its financing by the end of the year.
The Big River Steel mill is to employ 2,000 construction workers and, when operating, have more than 500 workers earning salaries averaging more than $75,000.
The mill is to be built by a German company and much of the financing is to come from that country. Arkansas Economic Development Director Grant Tennille says Big River is lining up equipment for the mill and is developing relationships with suppliers and prospective customers.
Tennille says companies that plan to do business with Big River plan to locate near the mill, bringing more jobs to the Osceola area.