Posts Tagged ‘Cliffs Natural Resources’

CN to Close Escanaba Iron Ore Docks

March 22, 2017

The Escanaba, Michigan, iron ore docks will close at the end of April, Canadian National has announced.

It will mark the end of 165 years of ore shipping from the Michigan Upper Peninsula port on Lake Michigan.

Shipments from Escanaba had been slowing since Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources closed its Empire Mine 65 miles north of Escanaba in August 2016.

The Lake Carriers Association said that about 3.5 million tons of ore was shipped from Escanaba in 2015, but CN said no iron ore has moved to the docks since October 2016.

CN said it will keep open its Escanaba yard to serve local rail customers.

Escanaba had been the only iron ore port on Lake Michigan that in recent years has moved raw materials to industries in Chicago, Indiana and other points in the Midwest.

Indiana Steel Maker to get Cliffs Taconite

June 9, 2016

An Indiana steel plant will soon be receiving taconite pellets from a facility in northern Minnesota that is reopening.

ArcelorMittal USA recently signed a long-term contract with Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources to receive the taconite from a processing plant at Forbes, Minnesota.

CliffsThe raw ore will be taken to Forbes by Canadian National from a mine near Eveleth, Minnesota. The mine and processing plant have been idle since August 2015.

Cliffs expects to begin recalling furloughed employees this week with full production expected to be reached by November.

Most of the taconite pellets will be shipped by boat from Duluth, Minnesota, to the Arcelor Mittal mills at Indiana Harbor East and West.

The pellets will be moved by CN by rail from Forbes to Duluth.

Cliffs said the contract with ArcelorMittal runs through 2026 and will replace a pair of contracts that expire within the next 19 months.

Over the life of the new contract, Cliffs is expected to supply to ArecelorMittal up to 10 million long tons of taconite pellets annually. A long ton is 2,240 pounds.

Cliffs will be the sole supplier of taconite for ArcelorMittal.

Last month Cliffs recalled most furloughed employees for its Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay and Babbitt, Minnesota, while also reinstating the movement of raw taconite trains over its 47-mile private railroad between the mine at Babbitt and the taconite plant at Silver Bay.

Cliffs to Reopen Minnesota Iron Ore Facilities

March 17, 2016

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources said it will resume by May 15 the production of iron ore pellets at its NorthShore Mining operation in Minnesota.

CliffsTaconite is mined near Babbitt, Minnesota, and taken by rail on the former Reserve Mining railroad to a Cliffs processing plant at Silver Bay.

The iron ore pellet plant, which employs 540, had been closed last November.

The 47-mile railroad serving the mines and production plant will lease two CIT SD9043MACs to pull 156-car raw ore trains.

Cliffs also owns the Hibbing Taconite mine in Minnesota and the Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan. Its United Taconite Plant in Forbes, Minnesota, remains idle.

Michigan Iron Ore Mine About Played Out

February 2, 2016

An iron ore mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is at the end of its useful life and is expected to close.

Cliff Natural Resources said the Empire Mine, which is served by Canadian National and the Lake Superior & Ishpeming, will close within months if not years.

CliffsCliffs will then move that production to United Taconite. “End of life at Empire is a reality,” said Cliffs Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves.

Once the Empire Mine is closed Cliffs will move that production to United Taconite.  “We are going to replace the Viceroy pellet at Empire with the new Mustang pellet at United; that will happen this year,” Goncalves said.

After the Empire closes, there will be one taconite plant left operating in Michigan’s UP, which is the LS&L-served Tilden Mine.

The Cleveland-based Cliffs also indicated that two of its taconite facilities on Minnesota’s Iron Range may reopen this year.

The mines, which closed in 2015, are United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes, and the NorthShore Mining plant at Silver Bay and mine at Babbitt.

Cliffs expects to sell 17.5 million tons of taconite iron ore pellets this year, up from 17.3 million tons in 2015.

Cliffs Seeks to End Michigan Haulage Contract

October 9, 2015

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources has ended its pellet sale and purchase agreement with Essar Steel Algoma, citing what Cliffs described as “multiple and material breaches under the agreement” by Algoma.

Cliffs said it would consider discussing supplying Essar delivered in a just-in-time iron ore supply arrangement.
Cliffs owns the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad, which transports taconite pellets for Essar Algoma from the Tilden Mine near Ishpeming, Michigan, to its dock on Lake Superior at Marquette, Michigan.

The pellets are then moved by boat to Essar at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Ending the agreement could result in a large traffic reduction LS&I.

Essar, in the meantime, has filed a request for a temporary restraining order before a federal judge in Cleveland, saying that it expects Cliffs to honor the supply agreement until the matter has been resolved.
Algoma Steel was founded 1901 and acquired in June 2007 by Essar Steel Holdings Limited.

Mich. Taconite Mine To Stay Open 2 More Years

March 4, 2014

The Empire Taconite Mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that is served by Canadian National and the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad will remain open for two more years.

Owner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc had planned to close the mine in late 2014. Most of the traffic for the mine is handled by CN’s former Chicago & North Western dock at Escanaba.

Cliffs reached a revised commercial agreement with ArcelorMittal, which has steel making plants in Cleveland, to supply iron ore pellets for an additional two years through the end of January 2017, with an option to extend for a third year.

The Empire mine is located on the Marquette Iron Range, about 15 miles southwest of Marquette, Mich.

Cliffs holds a 79 percent ownership of Empire and a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal has a 21 percent ownership stake.