Politicians Confirm Cleveland-Cliffs Will Restart Operations In April


MINNESOTA — Two politicians representing Minnesota confirmed on Monday that mining company Cleveland-Cliffs plans to re-open its idling facilities in Babbitt and Silver Bay this April.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and State Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-03) sent press releases applauding the company for the announcement.

The mine in Babbitt and the pellet plant in Silver Bay, both owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, went idle last May.

That caused more than 400 workers to lose their jobs.

Now, the company is reaching out to former employees about coming back.

“I’m encouraged that Cleveland-Cliffs is beginning the process to reopen their facilities in Babbitt and Silver Bay,” State Senator Grant Hauschild wrote in a press release. “In recent months, I’ve held several meetings with Cleveland-Cliffs to discuss the importance of reopening these plants as soon as possible. These mines and jobs are critical to our regional economy. I heard from numerous miners who were impacted by this closure who said they wanted to get back to work. While we were able to get them a bridge in unemployment insurance benefits until April with my recent bill, my primary goal has always been to reopen these two plants. I’m glad to say that we’re one step closer to making that happen.” 

After the state’s unemployment insurance benefits expired for the laid off miners in November, the legislature approved a bill to renew them that Governor Tim Walz signed into law in January.

The bill to renew those benefits was created by Senator Hauschild and State Representative Dave Lislegard (DFL-Aurora).

It cost $10.3 million and also covered the time in between November and January when laid off employees weren’t covered.

“After meeting with miners impacted by the Silver Bay plant and Babbitt mine idling, working with local northern Minnesota legislators to push for the extension of state unemployment benefits, and most recently, meeting in Washington with Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves about reopening, I’m glad mining operations will be reopening in Babbitt and Silver Bay and the miners will be returning to work,” Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote in a press release.

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