Mining company announces $500M investment in U.P.

July 13, 2008

July 13th (Chicago Tribune) – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. says it’s investing $500 million to increase iron pellet production at its Empire Mine in Marquette County.

The Cleveland-based company says the project will extend the life of the mine, which faced potential closure in 2011, through 2018. It also will add about 375 employees to the existing work force of about 550 employees, who will be retained.

Cleveland-Cliffs says the investment will cover the costs of acquiring new mining equipment and reactivating idled production lines at the Empire Mine concentrator plant. The company also plans to maximize production at its Tilden Mine near Ishpeming.

Cleveland-Cliffs says it is continuing development of a $275 million iron nugget production facility it announced in August 2007. That plant will produce about 500,000 tons of iron ore nuggets a year for “mini mills,” which use recycled scrap as a key ingredient in steel.

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