New contract puts U.P. miners back to work

Michigan State Roundup

Published July 1, 2002  | July 2002 issue

Cleveland Cliffs Inc. (CCI) contracted a new 15-year, 70-million-ton iron ore agreement that will boost production in its Michigan and Minnesota mines. The company announced the long-term agreement to supply all the iron ore for the newly formed company, International Steel Group Inc. (ISG). CCI has invested $13 million in ISG's stock, or about 7 percent of the company's equity.

This year CCI mine operations in Minnesota and Michigan will supply 1.5 million to 2 million tons of iron ore pellets to ISG facilities in Cleveland and East Chicago. The pellet supply is expected to increase to 5 million tons in future years.

That was good news to UP mine workers. Earlier, CCI had mothballed the Empire Mine near Palmer after steel-maker LTV went bankrupt, cancelling a 10-year, 50-million-ton ore contract. The Empire has since reopened and brought back about 400 of the 900 laid-off employees.

Rosie Cataldo