Mining CEO expects 2 idled MN operations to reopen this year

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The parent company of two idled Minnesota mines says it expects those operations to be up and running again – though not for a couple months.

According to WDIO, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources – which owns the United Taconite and Northshore Mining sites, both currently idled – will remain shuttered through March. But the company does expect them to be operational again at some point this year.

The mining industry – and Cliffs – was hit hard in 2015, as companies coped with a slumping demand for steel. At least seven of Minnesota's 11 major mining operations are idled or shut down, the Duluth News Tribune reported, and nearly 2,000 workers have been laid off.

That difficulty was reflected in Cliffs' fourth quarter results released this week – the company lost $58 million during that quarter alone.

In December, White House Chief of Staff (and Minnesota native) Denis McDonough visited the Iron Range, saying he and the president's administration understand the urgency of the situation. But fixes aren't clear-cut.

The price of steel has fallen dramatically recently – and many people, Minnesota officials included, blame it at least partially on other countries.

Countries such as China and India have been accused of illegally dumping cheap, foreign-made steel, and it’s ended up in the U.S. – meaning there’s less of a demand for steel made by companies here in the states.

The New York Times explored the problem in-depth in this article.

Michigan mine ending

Meanwhile the company's Empire Mine operation, located in Michigan, won't be producing things for much longer – and that could benefit Minnesota.

Forum News Service reports Empire is nearing the end of its life, and an official said operations there will end permanently within months. When that happens, production will be shifted to the United Taconite mine in Eveleth.

The pellets produced at Empire are currently bought by Arcelor-Mittal for an Indiana Harbor mill, Upper Michigan's Source reports.

Next Up

Twitter -  Jennifer McDermed glitch - FOX 9

FOX 9 meteorologist's glitchy, laugh-filled forecast goes viral, features on Fallon

The FOX 9 meteorologist's clip was shared on 'Jimmy Fallon' and 'GMA.'

police lights

Suspects, possibly armed, flee after gunshots and car crash in Bemidji

Police say they may be armed, and are asking the public for tips.

Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway

Wild blanked by Blues; playoff fate is in Colorado's hands

It comes down to the final day of the regular season.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Ranking the most difficult games in the Vikings' 2021 schedule

The Vikings have some interesting matchups on their 17-game slate.

Spencer Silver

Chemist who co-invented Post-it Notes dies at home in St. Paul

He developed an adhesive that could stick to paper – repeatedly – without damaging the paper.

Danielle Hunter

Here is the official 2021 Minnesota Vikings schedule

How does an early January game at Lambeau Field sound?

Blake Bortles

Amid Aaron Rodgers drama, Packers reportedly sign Blake Bortles

The former No. 3 overall pick is headed to Green Bay.

You Houa Thao

Missing St. Paul man found dead in wooded area

The 73-year-old was reported missing May 8.

Related