PALMER, MI-- Operations have officially ended at the Empire Mine in Palmer.
Cliffs Natural Resources says as of Thursday the mine was put into an indefinite idle state. The company says it will not be completely shut down so the Empire will stay compliant with certain maintenance and environmental codes.
About 266 hourly employees still at the mine will work to transfer some of its assets to the Tilden Mine in Ishpeming and secure the rest. Those workers will be laid off August 28. WLUC-TV says another 45 salaried employees will also be laid off. Some workers will transfer to the Tilden, while others could seek employment at another Cliffs mine in Minnesota.
The Tilden Mine will continue normal operations.