Eveleth mine celebrates 50 years with public event

Iron Range newsI spent most of my childhood trying to find shapes in the steam cloud billowing out of Eveleth Taconite’s plant at Forbes. Now known as United Taconite, the Iron Range iron mine and processing facility will celebrate 50 years of mining this Sunday with a public event.

EVELETH, MN – Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) announced today that it is hosting a public anniversary celebration for United Taconite (UTAC) on Sunday,September 14, 2014. United Taconite is celebrating 50 years of mining and 10 years under the ownership of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. The free public anniversary event is being held to show appreciation for employees, retirees and the surrounding communities.

When: Sunday, September 14, 2014
Time: 1 p.m.
Where: Range Recreation Civic Center, Hat Trick Avenue, Highway 53, Eveleth, MN (Next to the Hockey Hall of Fame)
What: A program with guest speakers, followed by a celebration and mine tours
Mine tours: Offered every half hour (2-4:30 p.m.) Children younger than 10 must remain on the bus. Long pants and closed-toe flat shoes required (no heels).

Speakers at the event include Governor Mark Dayton, Congressman Rick Nolan, Senator TomBakk, Representative Jason Metsa, Terry Fedor, Cliffs’ Executive Vice President of US Iron OreOperations, Santi Romani, general manager of United Taconite and John Rebrovich, Assistantto the Director, District 11.

United Taconite’s mine is located in Eveleth and the plant is approximately 10 miles away in Forbes. Originally known as Eveleth Taconite, production began under the ownership of Ford Motor Company, and those popular vehicle names are still present today at the “Thunderbird Mine” and the “Fairlane Plant.” In May 2003, Eveleth Mines LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and ceased operations. Later that year, Cliffs acquired the assets of Eveleth Mines LLC through a partnership with Laiwu Steel Group of China and the operation reopened underthe name, United Taconite. In 2008, Cliffs purchased Laiwu’s 30 percent interest in UTAC and the operation is now 100 percent owned by Cliffs. UTAC employs 514 people and has an annual economic impact of $273 million.

The public event will also include a special dedication to the late Congressman Jim Oberstar for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the mining industry and the instrumental role he played indeveloping the partnership between Cliffs and Laiwu Steel which revitalized the operation.

The celebration was announced before this week’s news that Cliffs would be closing its Duluth corporate office.

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