Posts Tagged ‘iron ore’

Cleveland-Cliffs to Acquire AK Steel

December 6, 2019

Cleveland-Cliffs has agreed to buy steelmaker AK Steel in a transaction being valued at $1.1 billion.

Based in Cleveland, Cliffs said it will provide iron ore pellets to AK Steel’s blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces as part of a vertically integrated steel company.

AK Steel’s facilities are located near Cincinnati.

“We’re going to basically replicate what Arcelormittal does out of Hibbing and Minorca and what U.S. Steel does out of Keetac and Minntac,” Cliffs President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said in a conference call with investors Tuesday morning.

He was referring to mines in the Minnesota Iron Range that supply iron ore to steel mills in Indiana Harbor, Indiana, and in Virginia.

Cliffs mines mines taconite and produces iron ore pellets at Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay and United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes. Cliffs also owns and operates the Tilden mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Goncalves said the two companies will operate separately until the merger wins approval, which is expected to be in the first half of 2020.

No Cliffs offices or facilities are expected to close after the sale.

“I do not anticipate changes to our existing organization, so it is business as usual for our employees,” Goncalves said.

AK Steel is a producer of flat-rolled carbon and stainless and electrical steel products that is supplies to the automobile industry.

Cliffs will continue to sell pellets to other steel companies, Goncalves said.

Once the transaction is complete, AK Steel will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cliffs but will keep its branding and corporate identity.

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 Iron Ore Pellet Plant to Close

October 18, 2016

A Minnesota Company that had shipped iron ore by rail to a plant in Indiana has closed as part of a bankruptcy settlement.

IndianaMagnetation had a facility in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, that extracted iron ore concentrate from old mine waste sites in Minnesota’s Mesabi Range.

The ore was transported by rail to a pellet plant that Magnetation built in 2014 in Reynolds, Indiana.

Iron ore pellets were made in Reynolds for AK Steel facilities in Ohio and Kentucky. CSX moved the ore to Reynolds and transported the pellets to the AK Steel plants. BNSF had handled the ore between Minnesota and Chicago.

The Indiana plant will close on Oct. 25, putting 160 employees out of work.

The last train was loaded in Minnesota on Oct. 4. Officials blamed the company’s demise on a downturn in the domestic steel industry, saying that iron ore prices have crashed.

Magnetation had sought bankruptcy protection in May 2015, listing more than $1 billion in debt and assets worth less than half that.

The company said it will preserve its Indiana facility  to protect its value for a potential buyer although no would-be buyers have yet approached Magnetation.