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Updated: Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Says No to Partnership with Clarke

Lourenco Goncalves said they plan on submit a mine plan to the DNR for their land in Nashwauk. Lourenco Goncalves said they plan on submit a mine plan to the DNR for their land in Nashwauk. |  Photo: WDIO

Updated: January 25, 2018 04:25 PM

Lourenco Goncalves maintained that their position in Nashwauk is a strong one. During Cleveland-Cliffs' earnings call, he was asked about his recently acquired mineral rights at the former Essar site.

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"It's contiguous. I can operate on that land with no problem, having access from public roads. And we can execute a mine plan. Very soon we will have a mine plan to submit to the DNR, and we will have permits to mine that land," Goncalves shared. Cliffs acquired surface and mineral rights from Glacier Park Iron Ore Properties late last year.

He said that the other competitor, Chippewa, has no leases. Chippewa Capital Partners and Tom Clarke are working on getting the state mineral leases reinstated, with plans to build the mine and finish a pig iron plant on site.

Lawmakers are urging Clarke and Goncalves to sit down and talk about partnership opportunities at the site. Rep. Jason Metsa, of Virginia, said that Governor Dayton and Clarke have agreed to such a meeting. He said litigation is likely preventing all three parties from sitting down together for now, but he's hopeful for the future.

When Eyewitness News asked Goncalves if that meeting would be possible. He said this, "If he (Dayton) wanted to talk about teaming up with a real mining company, I'd consider it. The so-called entrepreneur hasn't done anything yet. They bought Magnetation, but they haven't produced a single pellet. They acquired a blast furnace in Lorain, and haven't done anything there yet. He only owns 5% of his company, according to press reports. The other control is in Dubai. If Governor Dayton doesn't have a problem with someone like that, that's his problem, not mine! I'm not going to tie Cleveland Cliffs to that type of player."

He went on to say, "I have my own game to play, and that's what we are going to do."

As for other Cliffs' properties, Goncalves said in their earnings call Thursday that they have all $700 million dollars they need for their HBI plant in Toledo, Ohio. Also, the upgrade at Northshore Mining to produce more DR grade pellets has begun.

He sees strong appetite for pellets. The company predicts they will sell 20 million long tons of pellets in 2018.

 


WDIO

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