Cleveland Cliffs resets the Mesabi Iron Range

October 4, 2020 ☼ miningiron-rangecleveland-cliffs

Source: Minnesota Brown - Link

The rest is quite literally history. Though U.S. Steel now casts a mere shadow of its past self, the company remained the largest single producer of iron ore on the Mesabi Iron Range for almost 120 years.

All that changed Sept. 28 of this year when the venerable iron ore producer Cleveland-Cliffs announced a $1.4 billion deal to buy ArcelorMittal USA, the American subsidiary of the world’s largest steel company. That date may prove to be just as consequential for the future of Mesabi Range iron mining as U.S. Steel’s birthday in 1901.

Cliffs’ takeover of ArcelorMittal’s assets, including Hibbing Taconite and the Minorca Mine near Virginia, makes it the largest steelmaker and iron miner in North America. Locally, Cliffs now controls four of the Minnesota’s six active iron mines. Though Cliffs has long been a steady presence on the American industrial scene it has never been such an undisputed leader. These are new times.

This monumental action gives the Iron Range cause for celebration and concern alike.

The good news is that Cleveland Cliffs is a respected American company with a long resume. Cliffs’ labor and environmental record is among the best in the world compared to other mining and steel companies.

This is an interesting article and has some history too. If they can mine iron ore and keep a good business, excellent. It also highlights a need for the Range to diversify its economy. Iron mining is relatively clean. The proposed copper-nickel mining uses processes that are highly toxic.