Archive | Cliffs Natural Resources

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 →

Junior miner Champion Iron agrees to buy troubled Bloom Lake mine in Quebec – by Peter Koven (National Post – December 11, 2015)

A buyer has finally emerged for the troubled Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec, which was shuttered nearly a year ago after incurring massive losses.

Junior miner Champion Iron Ltd. has won an auction to buy the mine out of bankruptcy protection for $10.5 million. Champion, which has offices in Canada and Australia, will also assume $42.8 million of liabilities as part of the agreement.

“Bloom Lake is considered an exceptional opportunity for Champion, and one that would not have presented itself without the challenges of the current downturn in bulk commodities,” executive chairman Michael O’Keeffe said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Goncalves tirade against the ‘enemy’ – by Kip Keen ( – November 1, 2015)

Who’s myopic in this argument Mr. Goncalves?

Pure ridiculum. Cliffs Natural Resources Chairman and CEO Lourenco Goncalves descended into a xenophobic tirade against China during a Friday conference call in which he warned Australia to choose sides in a world where it was helping an “enemy” build up.

China will “bring Australia down” Goncalves said as he reiterated his position that the big diversifieds are oversupplying the iron ore market. He went so far as to suggest that trade with China was a questionable strategy, noting that he was doing everything he could to separate the Cliffs business from China “since the day I put my feet here.”

At one point during comments he went so far as to implore Australia to rethink its trading with China. “I hope the Australians will continue to question themselves why one or two companies are giving their finite resource away to the Chinese while the Chinese build into a military powerhouse in the South China Sea,” Goncalves said. Continue Reading →

Essar-Cliffs tension at fevered pitch – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 7, 2015)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Cut off from its iron ore supply, Essar Steel Algoma has filed a request for a temporary restraining order in an Ohio court against Cliffs Natural Resources. In an Oct. 6 news release, Essar said the matter is before a federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Essar Steel Algoma fully expects Cliffs to honour the supply agreement until such time as the matter has been justly resolved,” the Sault Ste. Marie plate and sheet producer said in a statement.

Hours earlier, Cliffs announced it had halted shipments to Essar by terminating its longstanding agreement to supply Essar with taconite iron ore pellets. The decision took effect Oct. 5.

A spokesperson with Cliffs was unavailable for comment. Essar spokeswoman Brenda Stenta said a “swift ruling” is expected on the matter. “There is no immediate impact to operations.” Continue Reading →