Archive | Cliffs Natural Resources

CLIFFS CEO: ‘WE FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE’ – by Jerry Burnes (Mesabi Daily News – November 16, 2016)

Stable steel consumption has contributed to a recent rebound in iron ore prices, according to Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves.

He presented Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Global Metals and Mining Conference in New York, where he told the investors that demand, not the market, is driving prices. A constant domestic demand around 120 million tons is behind Goncalves projecting a $60 per ton price in 2017. “Things have been playing out the way we expected,” he said. “Iron ore is a commodity that can be controlled. Market control is not accurate.”

The biggest variable in the U.S. market for demand lately is illegally imported steel, a story that is old hat for mining companies across the region. Steel companies answered the question of how much imported steel was absorbed into the supply, Goncalves said, with four trade cases that led to high tariffs and the weeding out of foreign stock. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO Says ‘Know-Nothing’ Iron Bears Will Be Wrong Again – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – September 13, 2016)

The largest U.S. iron-ore producer says the bears are getting it wrong all over again. Prices will probably be sustained above $50 a metric ton as demand in China is stable and the impact of new supply won’t be as severe as forecast, according to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

“Those forecasts saying that prices will go to $40 or $30 or whatever, they haven’t materialized,” Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves said in a phone interview. “It’s not going to happen at the end of the year. Do you know what they’re going to say next? They’ll say it’ll be next year. That’s the reason I don’t believe them. They don’t know anything.”

Iron ore has rallied in 2016, confounding a slew of predictions earlier in the year that lackluster demand in China and rising low-cost supply would combine to drag prices lower. With banks and miners now focusing on the months through to the year-end, some forecasters are again predicting a retreat. Continue Reading →

Cliffs breaks new ground on the Iron Range – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio – August 11, 2016)

After a year of layoffs and mine closures in northeast Minnesota that occurred while the U.S. steel industry grappled with a historic downturn, the Iron Range celebrated a piece of good news Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton and other state leaders were on hand as Cliffs Natural Resources broke ground on a $65 million expansion at its United Taconite plant in Forbes.

The upgrades will allow Cliffs to produce a new specialty iron ore pellet it calls the “Mustang” pellet, which will supply North America’s largest steel blast furnace at the Indiana Harbor facility outside Chicago, operated by the steelmaker Arcelor Mittal.

In May, Cliffs announced a new 10-year supply contract with Arcelor Mittal. The new pellet, which will begin production in March 2017, replaces a pellet produced at the Empire Mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which Cliffs closed earlier this month when the mine ran out of ore. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO paints upbeat picture of potential for disputed Essar Steel site – by Mike Hughlett (Minneapolis StarTribune – July 12, 2016)

CEO says firm would build “direct- reduced iron” plant; Essar has vowed to fight its ouster in court.

The CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. says that if his mining company gets control of the newly bankrupt Essar Steel site in Nashwauk, Minn., it would build the first of what could be several “direct-reduced iron” plants — an advancement for Minnesota’s iron ore industry.

Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland-based Cliffs, made the remarks Tuesday at a public meeting at the Nashwauk Township Community Center along with Gov. Mark Dayton. Cliffs has talked before about building a direct-reduced iron plant in Minnesota, but Tuesday marked the company’s most detailed ­comments.

Last week, Dayton terminated Essar Steel Minnesota’s mineral leases after the steelmaker failed to pay $66 million due the state for the company’s long-stalled $1.9 billion taconite mine in Nashwauk. That prompted Essar, an arm of India-based conglomerate Essar Global, to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Natural Resources to Reopen Minnesota Mine Early – by Tess Stynes (Wall Street Journal – June 9, 2016)

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. said it plans to restart its United Taconite mining operation in Minnesota during August, two months earlier than recently expected.

The U.S.’s biggest iron-ore miner cited a contract to supply the majority of U.S. Steel Canada’s iron-ore pellet requirement for the third and fourth quarters, which also spurred Cliffs to raise its sales volume and production guidance for 2016.

The moves come after Cliffs on May 31 announced it had reached a 10-year agreement to supply steel giant ArcelorMittal with iron-ore pellets, which lifted Cliffs stock 39% that day. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Jumps Most in Seven Years as Profit Tops Estimates – by Sonja Elmquist (Bloomberg News – April 28, 2016)

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. iron-ore miner, jumped the most in more than seven years after first-quarter earnings exceeded estimates and the company announced supply-contract renewals with steelmakers.

Cliffs rose 25 percent to $5.39 at 4 p.m. in New York, the biggest gain since November 2008. The closing price was the highest since June. The Cleveland-based company’s shares have more than tripled this year as commodities including iron ore rallied.

Cliffs cut its cash production costs by more than a quarter in the U.S. and Asia, and Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves said in a statement that “consistent signs of a real recovery” in the domestic steel market are helping bolster orders at clients. The company boosted its capital spending forecast as it develops a new iron-ore pellet with ArcelorMittal, and reached a supply agreement with U.S. Steel Canada. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Natural Resources investors face more bad news: A class action lawsuit – by John Funk (Cleveland Plain Dealer – March 16, 2016)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Investors who still own stock in Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources face another round of bad news.

Their stock lost more than 12 percent of value Tuesday, closing at just $2.38 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, after two investors who previously bought unsecured bonds in the company filed a class action lawsuit.

The complaint, filed in a federal court in New York, alleges that Cliffs, still the nation’s larges iron ore mining company, gave big institutional bondholders and banks an opportunity to exchange their unsecured Cliffs notes for new unconditionally guaranteed notes that pay an 8 percent rate of interest and come due in 2020. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Natural Resources to Restart Minnesota Mine – by John W. Miller (Wall Street Journal – March 14, 2016)

The U.S.’s biggest iron ore miner Monday said it would restart a key mine in Minnesota, a positive sign for the battered U.S. steel industry following a small uptick in prices and new import tariffs on foreign steel.

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. said it would resume production of iron ore pellets at its Northshore operations, which employ 540 workers, by May 15.

The mine, which was idled in December, was one of many industrial facilities in the U.S. to fall prey last year to a painful downtown in the industrial commodities sector, driven by a slowdown in Chinese demand, a collapse of energy prices and the stronger dollar. Steel prices in the U.S. fell over 30% on the year. Big steelmakers laid off thousands of workers, closed plants and posted billions of dollars in losses. Continue Reading →

Wabush mine pension fight continues, says Labrador West MHA – by Katherine Hobbs (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – March 11, 2016)

Labrador West MHA, Graham Letto, says the fight continues for pensioners affected by the area’s downturn, but work will also have to be done to diversity the economy.

It’s been two years since Wabush Mines shut down and communities are struggling.

“We have stepped up to the plate with Wabush as a government … we’re working very hard to find some resolutions to the issues that exist up there, especially around the pension plans, finding a new buyer for Wabush Mines,” said Letto.

When the financially troubled mine, owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, closed in 2014, pension plans were underfunded by about $47 million dollars. Continue Reading →

More iron ore doom from Cliffs Natural Resources boss Laurenco Goncalves – by Colin Kruger (Sydney Morning Herald – March 10, 2016)

It is a pity that Cliffs Natural Resources is a US-based miner, because it is only on his rare visits to our shores that Australia gets to catch the pearls of wisdom that pour forth from its chief executive, Laurenco Goncalves.

This is the guy who said last year that he couldn’t wait to get out of that “doomed” and “cursed” place that is the Australian iron ore market.

“As soon as I get to the end of life of mine in Australia, I’m out of there … I can’t wait to get out of the seaborne trade and let the Australians take that horrible business on their own hands,” he said in May. That sales spiel must go down a treat with the tyre-kickers who might be interested in buying its local mines. Continue Reading →

[Michigan] Mining’s last stand? Upper Peninsula way of life is threatened – by Ted Roelofs (Crains Detroit Business – February 19, 2016)

MARQUETTE COUNTY — At Sherri’s Restaurant in Ishpeming, above the faint clatter of dishes from the kitchen, the conversation of the day in winter skips around from town gossip to snowmobiling to the latest storm to close the local schools. As one might expect in a no-frills Upper Peninsula diner, the food is all-American, the portions ample.

Said owner Sherri Steele of the “farmers’ omelette” on the breakfast menu, a calorie-rich platter of three eggs, green pepper, onion, cheese, potatoes and toast on the side: “It’s huge.”

But as she prepared for the Friday night smelt fish fry she’ll dish up that evening, Steele touched on another topic that looms over this community: What if the mines close? Continue Reading →

Cliffs hanging on, but waiting to reopen plants – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – Jan 27, 2016)

Cliffs Natural Resources had a terrible 2015, losing money and slashing production, but the company expects demand for its taconite iron ore to tick up in 2016 and vows to reopen idled operations once sales increase.

Company officials Wednesday said both United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes and Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay will remain closed at least through March but will reopen “sometime this year” as demand from steelmakers for taconite increases.

Hundreds of laid-off workers at each plant are waiting to go back on the job.

“It’s too soon to give you a date, but it will be this year,” Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves told the News Tribune in a telephone interview Wednesday. Continue Reading →

China’s Top Leadership Driving Steel Output Cuts, Cliffs Says – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – February 2, 2016)

Steel production in China will extend declines this year as the country’s top leadership has endorsed a concerted push to cut back on overcapacity in the country that accounts for half of global supply, according to the head of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

“If the central government has said they want 100 to 150 million tons of steel capacity shut down, they may not get that much but I’m sure they’ll get some,” Lourenco Goncalves, chief executive officer of the largest U.S. iron ore producer, said in an interview. “It’s a decision and it’s a task force led by the Premier Li Keqiang, who’s the number-two guy.”

China’s leaders have vowed to reduce excess capacity in state enterprises including steel even as they battle the slowest growth in a quarter century, announcing targets last month to shutter more factories and help workers cope with layoffs. Continue Reading →

US miner Cliffs says big Australian miners should regret their dividend promises – by Peter Ker (Sydney Morning Herald – January 28, 2016)

Big miners are now feeling the consequences of their own behaviour and should regret their vow to continue growing dividends, according to the outspoken boss of loss-making US miner Cliffs.

In his latest tirade against the iron ore growth strategies of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Cliffs president Lourenco Goncalves​ said pressure was rising on those who devised plans to continue growing iron ore exports.

“These companies are now realising that the returns on investment that they promised to their respective boards have not been achieved and will not materialise,” he said on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Former Ring of Fire negotiator charged in gas plant scandal – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 18, 2015)

David Livingston, a one-time provincial Ring of Fire negotiator, is one of two top aides of former Premier Dalton McGuinty facing criminal charges over the destruction of government documents related to the controversial cancellation of the two Toronto-area gas plants.

Livingston and Laura Miller are each charged with breach of trust, mischief in relation to data, and misuse of a computer system to commit the offence of mischief.

The charges stem from an OPP investigation into the deletion of thousands of government emails concerning the Liberal government’s decision to the plants prior to the 2011 election. The provincial auditor general determined cost ratepayers more than $1 billion. Continue Reading →