Cleveland-Cliffs: Progress at Northshore and Toledo

Updated: April 25, 2019 07:25 PM

On Thursday's 1st quarter earnings call, leaders from Cleveland-Cliffs shared about the progress the company is making. CEO Lourenco Goncalves said, "Our mining and pelletizing operations remain in great shape. This winter was especially harsh, compared to what we have seen in past years. But our Minnesota and Michigan operations are equipped to handle inclement weather."

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They are nearing completion of their $90 million dollar project at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. Once completed, it will enable the plant to make enough DR grade pellets to feed the HBI facility in Toledo.

Goncalves praised crews and teams from both sites. "They know they are on the forefront of bringing Cleveland-Cliffs into the next generation of clean steelmaking. And all appreciate their hard work." Cliffs will begin shipping 500,000 tons of the DR grade pellets to Toledo in the 3rd quarter, according to leaders.

Construction at the HBI site is ongoing. The $830 million dollar venture is expected to be complete in mid 2020. "Erection of the steel tower has begun, and as of this morning, the structure stands 120 feet high," Goncalves said.

He added that he's positioning Cliffs to be ready for the shift they're seeing in steelmaking, from the traditional blast furnaces to EAF. He anticipates there will be a pellet shortage in the future, in the Great Lakes.

Restarting Empire Mine in Michigan is a possibility to fulfill more need for pellets. But Goncalves said they'd need to have a long-term contract in place before they make that investment.

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