Canadian Mining Journal


Cliffs closes Northshore operation amid weak iron ore demand

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF), the largest U.S.-based iron ore producer, said it was temporarily closing its Northshore Mining operation in Minnesota by Dec. 1, to reduce its record high inventory levels amid weaker iron ore demand in the U.S. and globally.

The move will put the majority of its 540 employees at the Northshore iron ore mine in Babbitt and taconite pellet processing plant in Silver Bay out of work.

The Cleveland-headquartered producer intends to keep 70 employees to maintain the assets through the shutdown, expected to last until March 2016. It will retain another 20 employees through January to help ship the remaining pellets, says Patricia Persico, Cliffs’ director of corporate communications.

Northshore is the second Minnesota-based operation Cliffs has temporarily closed in recent months. In late August, the miner halted its United Taconite operation, comprising the mine in Eveleth and processing plant in Forbes. The move affected roughly 420 employees.

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