United Taconite to idle two Iron Range operations, 500 temporary layoffs likely

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Another taconite mine and a plant in Minnesota's Iron Range will be idled, meaning temporary layoffs for around 500 workers.

Cliffs Natural Resources announced in an earnings call Wednesday that it would be idling United Taconite, which comprises of a mine in Eveleth and a processing plant in Forbes, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The reason given was that the company has a surplus of the taconite iron ore pellets produced by the centers at a time when demand from U.S. steelmakers remains down, the newspaper notes, adding it's unclear when the shut down will start and how long it will last.

The company has said it will use the time its operations are idled to upgrade its plant so it can start producing a kind of iron ore pellet specifically for multi-national steel giant ArcelorMittal, WDIO reports, which should extend United Taconite's future in Minnesota.

It is nonetheless another jobs blow for the Iron Range, with mining towns experiencing hundreds of temporary layoffs this summer as demand for U.S.-produced ore dwindles in the face of competition from foreign suppliers.

It was hoped that the area was over the worst with reports that U.S. Steel could be re-opening its idled Minntac plant in Mountain Iron this September, meaning 400 workers could return to their jobs.

Cliffs Natural Resources reported its second-quarter results Wednesday that saw its revenues drop by 33 percent from $748 million last year to just $498 million.

Lourenco Goncalves, the company's CEO, said he expects actions taken to combat allegations against foreign countries of unfairly trading steel in the U.S. market should result in "improved industry operating conditions and profitability in the second half of this year."

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.

alphaMPD

Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.

Related