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Cliffs CEO responds to Walz letter regarding future of Hibbing Taconite

CLEVELAND, OH -- Cleveland-Cliffs President and CEO, Lourenco Goncalves, sent a letter to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Tuesday regarding the future mine life of Hibbing Taconite.

The letter is in response to one the Governor sent to Goncalves and the President and CEO of U.S. Steel, David Burritt, Monday.

In Tuesday's letter, Goncalves wrote that he appreciates Walz's attention to Hibbing Taconite's problem but added, the Governor's solution to Cliffs utilizing U.S. Steel land to extend Hibbing Taconite's mine life is not the best option.

"During the previous period through August 2019 when Cleveland-Cliffs was acting as the Manager of Hibbing Taconite, we engaged in numerous negotiations with U.S. Steel over the Carmi-Campbell leases. From August 2019 to December 2020, when ArcelorMittal acted as the Manager of the Hibbing Taconite joint venture, these discussions with U.S. Steel continued. Regardless of which party was acting as the Manager, a commercially viable solution has failed to materialize," wrote Goncalves.

He went on to say the unsuccessful negotiations with U.S. Steel were the driving force behind Cliffs decision to acquire land in Nashwauk.

"If Cleveland-Cliffs controls Nashwauk, not only Hibbing Taconite will be saved, but we would also have the opportunity to build a Direct Reduction plant on the site, creating the basis for a future steel mill in Nashwauk, locally supplied with HBI," wrote Goncalves.

Goncalves said Cliffs is ready and willing to begin a conversation with the State of Minnesota and U.S. Steel to find a viable solution for Hibbing Taconite.

To read the Governor's letters to Cliffs and U.S. Steel click here.


Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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