CLIFFS MARKS 170 YEARS OF MINING – by Jim Romsaas (Mesabi Daily News – February 21, 2017)


Founded by 11 men from Cleveland in 1847, Cliffs Natural Resources is now known as North America’s largest producer of iron ore pellets. Celebrating 170 years as a company in 2017, Cliffs has been independent for all of the company’s long history and has a very positive outlook for this year, as well.

“The significance of this milestone cannot be over-emphasized. How many U.S. companies can state that they have been instrumental in building and shaping our society since 1847? Not many,’’ said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs.

Cliffs, which has weathered the ups and downs of the industry and also world events, now has Minnesota operations at United Taconite (Eveleth), Hibbing Taconite, and Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. They have approximately 1,700 employees at the three locations, a payroll of $205 million and a total economic impact of $840 million.

Cliffs has no plans on slowing down, either, according to Goncalves.

“Today as a stronger company, we are well positioned to reap the benefits of our strategy implemented over the past two years. We are excited about Cliffs and about our future. A much more favorable business environment in the U.S. and a newly adopted rational behavior in the international iron ore market support the work we have done internally in our company. With a much lower debt profile and extended maturities, and several new and more favorable commercial agreements that we put in place in 2016, Cliffs is running its operations at full capacity and we expect to deliver strong and sustainable results in 2017,’’ he said.

The company’s rich history dates back to 1847 when the Cleveland Iron Company was founded to develop hard hematite and magnetite ores in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. By 1880, Cleveland Iron Mining (formerly CIC) shipments reach the 200,000 ton mark.

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