Published September 1, 2003 | September 2003 issue
The old saying that two is better than one may or may not prove true in the Upper Peninsula.
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has combined the operations of the Empire and Tilden mines in an effort to increase productivity and reduce production costs. After acquiring a majority of shares in each mine, CCI and its partners created the Cliffs Michigan Mining Co., the joint operation of the two mines. The venture began June 1, although many details had yet to be finalized.
The company plans to keep both mines open, while coordinating and consolidating resources. According to a company spokesman, this will allow the mines to remain competitive suppliers to the steel industry. However, to make the effort feasible, the company will cut jobs. Reductions to the existing workforce of 1,400 will come primarily through retirements, which are expected to be significant over the coming years.
The true scope of the venture and its economic impact will be determined after the plans for management and operations are completed.