COVID-19

Cleveland-Cliffs puts the stops on iron ore mines

US-based iron ore producer Cleveland-Cliffs has cited market conditions stemming from COVID-19 manufacturing idles for its move to temporarily idle its Northshore mine in Minnesota and Tilden operation in Michigan.

 Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining is located in Silver Bay, Minnesota, US, near Lake Superior

Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining is located in Silver Bay, Minnesota, US, near Lake Superior

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The company said that Northshore, which was being idled this week, will not restart until August and Tilden, which is winding down to a late April suspension, should restart mining in July. Both of those plans will remain in place, it added, unless business circumstances change.

The mines are currently continuing to ship iron ore to fulfill steel customer supply agreements.

"We have evaluated market conditions and the extraordinary disruptions in manufacturing and steel production in North America due to the impact of the COVID-19 market shock," chairman, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said.

"As our steel customers rationalise their operations' capacities, we made the decision to adjust our iron ore production during the first half of the year and not continue to build additional iron ore inventory until market conditions improve. Once the North American steel market improves, Cleveland-Cliffs will be able to quickly restart and ramp up production."

Cleveland-Cliffs, which also owns United Taconite and has a partial ownership in Hibbing Taconite, announced late last month it was idling its HBI pellet facility in Ohio. Northshore's production regularly feeds the facility.

Northshore Mining, originally known as Reserve Mining, is located in Silver Bay, Minnesota, near Lake Superior. It has been under Cliffs ownership since 1994. Tilden is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and has been under Cliffs ownership since 2017.

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