Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Details Growth In 2017 State of the Company

EVELETH, Minn. – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is starting 2018 with a goal of bringing more jobs to the Iron Range and to continue expanding operations.

That was the talk of Cliffs’ 2017 State of the Company event in Eveleth.

From the number of new jobs Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. brought to Minnesota to its financial performance, 2017 was a memorable year for the company.

The Eveleth Auditorium was a packed house as folks gathered to hear from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. President, Chairman and CEO Lourenco Goncalves.

He called 2017 a year of accomplishments.

Not only did Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. mark its 170th year anniversary milestone, Goncalves says the company brought in $2.3 billion dollars in revenue and hundreds of new jobs to Minnesota.

“Mining is a key to everything that we do and we do it right up here,” said Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL. “We do it an environmentally friendly way.”

In Dec. 2017 Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. acquired and leased land in Nashwauk Minnesota.

“I only bought land and mineral rights and I need the ore,” said Goncalves. “I have pellet capacity in Minnesota to use that ore.

When asked about being able to work alongside Mesabi Metallics, Goncalves says it’s possible.

“If he puts one here focus, laser focus on that, I will work with him,” said Goncalves. “I will supply him the grade pellets as long as he clears credit issues.”

Up next for Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is working on the Northshore Plant in Silver Bay.

Over the next two years Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. plans to invest $80 million to produce DR-grade pellets there.

“Northshore will become a producer of 3.5 million tons of DR-grade pellets per year,” said Goncalves. “As you know this industry is moving towards EAF from blast furnaces.”

Goncalves says Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. wants to improve the lives of Iron Rangers by bringing more jobs to the region.

“They’re a key player,” said Tomassoni. “They provide several thousand jobs and they’re one of the main people up here. We’re very, very happy to have them.”

Eveleth’s mayor is hopeful for the future of mining in the Iron Range.

“I think the mining has taken an upswing. We’re really optimistic about the things that are happening and like I say, Cliffs has been a major player with some innovations that’s going to strengthen the industry U.S. steel. We got some new projects that are working through their growing pains.”

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc is continuing its expansion outside of minnesota.

Its first Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) production plant will be based in Toledo, Ohio.

That plant will produce HBI by July 2020 and will provide 130 permanent jobs.

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