Cliffs has a long history of providing a safe workplace, striving to be good stewards of the environment, and establishing strong and respectful relationships with our communities. These fundamentals provide the foundation upon which we manage our business.

Our Core Values contribute to our ability to overcome business challenges. They guide us when we have to make difficult decisions in complex situations. They also help us to maintain the trust we have built with our stakeholders and with each other.

A History of Cliffs: 1847-2017 Timeline

Cliffs is celebrating its 170th year as a company in 2017. We are a company that pre-dates the first Industrial Revolution, with leaders who navigated business through wars, prosperity and depression eras. Now in the New Millennium, we can thank the ingenuity and hard work of our employees over the years for helping to make us into the largest iron ore producer in North America. We are very proud of the fact that steel starts here at Cliffs.

A PDF version of Cliffs’ 170-Year History is available to download.

Timeline

1847

Cleveland Iron Company is founded by eleven men from Cleveland, OH who seek to develop the hard hematite and magnetite ores of the Negaunee outcropping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In the following years, the first railway is built on the Iron Range and the Sault Ste Marie Canal opens, built with support from Cleveland Iron Mining, whose first iron ore shipment is 120 tons. Cleveland Iron Mining pioneers use of the diamond drill, getting cleaner drill cores and gaining accuracy on siting locations for underground mines.

1850

Cleveland Iron Mining Co is chartered to mine in Michigan.

1855

The first railway is built on the Iron Range and the Sault Ste Marie Canal opens, built with support from Cleveland Iron Mining, whose first iron ore shipment is 120 tons.

1877

Cleveland Iron Mining pioneers use of the diamond drill, getting cleaner drill cores and gaining accuracy on siting locations for underground mines.

1891

The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company is founded, with William G. Mather as its president.

1900

Cliffs organizes the first geological department for an iron mining company in the Lake Superior Region of Ishpeming, Michigan.

1905

The Crosby became Cleveland Cliffs’ first mine on the Mesabi to ship iron ore. The Crosby was located in Nashwauk (Itasca County), and opened shortly after the Hawkins mine.

1920

Cleveland-Cliffs is recognized as the largest independent producer of iron ore in the United States.

1950s

Cliffs opens a laboratory in Ishpeming to find ways to make low-grade ores usable, and pioneers a process to beneficiate the ore into high-quality, custom-made pellets. Cliffs’ first pellets are produced at the Eagle Mills Plant in Negaunee Township, Michigan.

1963

Cliffs opens Empire Mine, the first to use two-stage, self-grinding (autogenous) mills in iron ore processing.

1974

Cliffs opens Tilden Mine in Michigan, the first to process fine-grained hematite ore with a selective flotation system.

1994

Cliffs acquires Northshore Mining in Silver Bay, Minnesota.

2000s

Cliffs embarks upon strategy to expand globally and to diversify into other minerals, leading to the acquisitions of iron-ore properties in Brazil, Canada and Australia and coal properties in Australia and the US.

2014

New Chairman, CEO and President and newly formed Board of Directors installed after contested proxy battle.

2015

A momentous year for Cliffs due to several crucial decisions aimed at strengthening the Company and its core U.S. iron ore business. Fully exits the North American Coal business. Initiates formal restructuring proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (“CCAA”) for the Bloom Lake and Wabush mines. Completes the sale of the Chromite assets in Northern Ontario as part of the CCAA process. Finalizes the sale of the Decar Nickel project in British Columbia and the remaining portfolio of exploration projects.

2016

Cliffs’ stock exhibited the second highest gain of 432 percent among the more than 3,000 companies listed on the NYSE. Cliffs was the best performing stock among all Metals and Mining companies in 2016. Nearing the end of life of mine, Cliffs indefinitely idled its Empire Mine in Michigan.

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