Cleveland-Cliffs To Idle Northshore Mining; 470 Employees Affected

The Northshore Mining Plant employees 570, only 100 remain employed.

SILVER BAY, Minn.- Cleveland-Cliffs has announced it is idling two of its iron ore plants, including Northshore Mining in Silver Bay, which will be shutting down by the middle of this month.

This will affect roughly 470 employees, a significant number for a city like Silver Bay with a population of only 1,800.

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said they’ve evaluated market conditions and disruptions in steel production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading them to not continue building up iron ore inventory.

Northshore Mining employs approximately 570 employees. They will keep about 100 to maintain the yard and dock crews for loading vessels, and a small staff for care and maintenance of the assets and fire watch.

The rest, will go.

Goncalves added in a statement:

“Once the North American steel market improves, Cleveland-Cliffs will be able to quickly restart and ramp up production.”

So far the company says that would be in August.

Silver Bay Mayor Scott Johnson said the shut-down will definitely be a big blow to his citizens. “It’s major.”

“But I have to be honest, the virus has done more to hurt our businesses, just stifle everything in town,” said the Mayor.

He’s hopeful that this will give people a chance to help revitalize the local economy a bit. “I’m actually hoping, with more people having more time on their hands, perhaps they’ll do more business with our carryout businesses,” he said.

However, Johnson said there could be a bigger problem if the closure does extend, and end up lasting more than six months.

Cleveland-Cliffs added that they will continue to ship iron ore to fulfill their commercial agreements with steel customers.

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