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Mesabi Metallics Sues Cleveland-Cliffs

September 08, 2017 10:04 PM

The fight over the Essar project has been fairly out in the open, between Cleveland-Cliffs and Chippewa Capital Partners and Tom Clarke, as the bankruptcy court proceedings have played out.

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Now, they'll duke it out in another courtroom. 

Mesabi Metallics, doing business at the Essar site, is suing Cliffs, alleging interference and conspiracy, among other things. The suit was filed Thursday in federal court.

According to the suit, Mesabi alleges that Cliffs and CEO Lourenco Goncalves have threatened key contractors, and that the threat was, "If you do business with Mesabi or Chippewa, Cliffs won't do business with you."

They allege that Cliffs' efforts to interfere have caused significant delays and unnecessary expense for Mesabi, which is trying to resurrect the former Essar site and place an HBI plant there. 

Other allegations include Cliffs undermined the negotiating process between Mesabi and some of the mineral lease holders, and that they caused key companies to withdraw from working on the project.

They want the court to order Cliffs to stop such activities, and they are also asking for damages.

A Cliffs' spokeswoman said they do not comment on pending litigation.


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