Cliffs eyes fall start for United Taconite

In a call to investors yesterday, Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves announced that his company will reopen Northshore Mining in May and plans to restart United Taconite in Eveleth later this year. Goncalves also announced that Cliffs made a profit during the last quarter, which wasn’t expected. However, Cliffs remains more than $2 billion in debt. A few weeks ago, Goncalves said United… Read More →

Cliffs eyes acquiring Essar plant

As snow fades from the ditches of Northern Minnesota, the Essar Steel construction site north of Nashwauk remains frozen in time. Minor movement in and out of the site is but partial salve for the idled hope of hundreds of jobs from the region’s largest new mining project in a generation. Essar has stated that it hopes… Read More →

Cliffs to reopen Northshore Mining in May

Cliffs Natural Resources announced today it plans to reopen Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay by May 15. About 540 people work for Northshore Mining, most of whom have been laid off since last year. “The avalanche of unfairly traded steel hitting the U.S. since last year negatively affected our clients’ production levels and,… Read More →

Obama OKs more enforcement to block steel dumping

Late last week, President Obama approved new measures to better enforce trade protections against illegal steel imports. The efforts would provide more funding to investigate allegations of steel dumping, or selling steel for less than it costs to make. The move comes amid some relief in steel pricing on the world market, a factor that… Read More →

Cliffs CEO defies global trends, predicts strong 2016

In today’s earnings report, one in which earnings were less than expected, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources said that he sees the domestic iron ore business turning around later in 2016. Lourenco Goncalves said Iron Range mines at Northshore Mining and United Taconite in Eveleth would stay closed through March, but would reopen after that…. Read More →

ANALYSIS: Rob Ecklund wins 3A race

Rob Ecklund was elected State Representative for Minnesota House District 3A Tuesday by a wide margin. The Koochiching County Commissioner and Boise Cascade union paper worker earned 64 percent of the vote to Republican Roger Skraba’s 19 percent and independent Kelsey Johnson’s 16 percent. Ecklund carried 80 of 83 precincts, losing a pair of small… Read More →

LIVE BLOG: MN House 3A Special Election today

Today voters head to the polls in Minnesota District 3A. This district is the state’s largest geographic House seat sprawling across Koochiching, northern and eastern St. Louis, most of Lake and all of Cook counties. This is a special election to replace the late Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), who died last summer. Polls will… Read More →

Devil in the details for Steelworkers special session

Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate DFLers are still seeking a special session to help Steelworkers whose unemployment will run out between now and March. They also seek economic measures to address racial disparities in the state. As we discussed last week, House Republicans declined to support such a session unless Dayton established support for two controversial projects, the… Read More →

Is this the 1980s again on the Iron Range?

I grew up in the 1980s on a junkyard just a few miles south of Eveleth Taconite. Growing up on a junkyard is probably the best way to understand the things humans build, sell, use and discard. So let’s consider a new car. I’ve only ever bought one brand new car fresh off the lot. It… Read More →

Cliffs will idle another Iron Range mine through March

  This morning Cliffs Natural Resources announced that beginning on Dec. 1 it would idle Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay at least through March of 2016. Cliffs also announced that already-idled United Taconite in Eveleth would remain shut down at least that long as well. Company leaders say the shutdown will end when market conditions… Read More →