Empire Mine

LANSING, MI--   State Representative Sara Cambensy has introduced legislation she says lays the groundwork for mining in the state for years to come.  

The bill would create a Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future. It would be responsible for making advisory legislative and policy recommendations to strengthen and develop sustainable mining practices in Michigan. The committee is modeled on a Minnesota group that created a long-term mining plan that focused on needs like infrastructure, transportation, energy, applied research, and environmental quality.

MARQUETTE, MI--   State Representative Sara Cambensy says she’ll do what she can to assist in the reopening of the Empire Mine in Marquette County. 

In a public conference call last week Cleveland Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said the company was close to announcing a resurgence in operations at the mine. He anticipates a significant shortage of pellets in the coming year. Cambensy says if Cliffs can find a partner to work with in filling that shortage it would be good news not only for the area but the state as a whole.

CLEVELAND, OH--   State Representative Sara Cambensy and a delegation of U.P. leaders met with Cleveland Cliffs officials in Cleveland Thursday. 

LANSING, MI--   Two U.P. lawmakers urged the Michigan Senate to encourage Cleveland Cliffs to reopen the Empire Mine. 

Representative Sara Cambensy and Senator Tom Casperson testified in front of the Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday. They both authored a resolution encouraging the company to come back to Marquette County instead of building a new mine in Minnesota.

LANSING, MI--   State Representative Sara Cambensy has introduced a resolution encouraging the state to show support for Cleveland Cliffs, Incorporated. 

CCI is deciding whether it should reopen the Empire Mine or build a new mining operation in Minnesota. Cambensy says Cleveland Cliffs has been a pillar of the region’s economy for more than 170 years, and continued investment in the Marquette Iron Range would benefit the area’s families, cities, and townships.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Cleveland Cliffs is trying to decide if it should build a new mining operation in 

Minnesota or reopen the Empire Mine, and a Marquette agency is trying to tip the scales in the U.P.’s favor.

The Lake Superior Community Partnership has created on online petition. In part, it says CCI makes up a portion of the u-p’s heritage and culture and has significantly contributed to the economy and lives of the region’s citizens. The petition states “We stand strong in our commitment to mining and urge Cleveland Cliffs to expand operations in Michigan.”

CLEVELAND, OH--   Cliffs Natural Resources says its employees represented by the United Steelworkers Union at the Empire and Tilden mines have ratified a new labor contract.

The contract includes workers at the Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite mines in Minnesota. 

The three-year deal is effective retroactive to October 1, 2015 and lasts through September 30, 2018.  It covers about 2,000 USW-represented employees at Cliffs operations.  

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. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Empire Mine will close at the end of 2016.

That’s the word from Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves, who spoke at a State of the Company meeting Wednesday at Marquette’s Holiday Inn.  WLUC-TV says the closure will affect 400 employees, some of whom may go to other mines in Minnesota. 

Goncalves said Cliffs will start to wind down operations at the Empire and workers will get warning notices in the next couple of months.

Frank Wulfers/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

MARQUETTE, MI (AP)--   Iron ore shipments out of Marquette's Upper Harbor are down dramatically, prompting fears about the future of Empire Mine.  

According to the Lake Carriers' Association, roughly 460,000 tons of iron ore shipped out of Marquette last month, compared with about 732,000 tons in November 2014.

The Mining Journal reports a similar downward trend was also seen throughout the Great Lakes, according to the association's report. Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 4.9 million tons in November, a decrease of 17 percent compared to a year ago.