North America’s largest producer of iron ore pellets

As the largest iron ore producer in North America, Cliffs is well-positioned to serve the region’s steel producers. With the unique advantage of being the low-cost producer of pellets in this market, the fluctuations of the commoditized price of seaborne iron ore have a limited impact on us.

The structure of our U.S. Iron Ore contracts, our geographical position in the Great Lakes and the value-added products we supply to our North American customers make our U.S. pellet plants very unique and valuable when compared to any other iron ore assets in the entire world.

Five iron ore mines located in Michigan and Minnesota produce various grades of iron ore pellets, including standard and fluxed, for use in blast furnaces. As the mines are located near the Great Lakes, the majority of the pellets are transported by rail to loading ports for shipments via vessel.

EAF steel producers (‘mini-mills’) require a reliable and quality source of iron-based metallic. In 2015, Cliffs developed at its Northshore Mining operation a new product, DR-grade pellets, for feedstock in DRI production. Cliffs is well positioned to enter the market for ferrous scrap substitutes and sell to leading mini mills in the United States. We are currently producing DR-grade pellets, and are expanding our Northshore operation in Minnesota to be able to produce up to 3.5 million long tons of low-silica DR-grade pellets for our future new HBI plant in Toledo, OH.

  • 2017 Production volume: 18.8 million tons
  • Remaining Proven and Probable mineral reserves: 2,147.3 million long tons

Environmental Stewardship is one of Cleveland-Cliffs’ core values and it embodies responsible planning and management of our resources. Maintaining our social license to operate requires us to be a leader in sustainable mining practices. To achieve this, we apply the same rigor to our environmental systems and performance as we do to safety, quality and profitability. Most importantly, we do not compromise our safety or our environmental practices for the sake of production.

Cleveland-Cliffs’ mines are located in the states of Michigan and Minnesota. The Company has five tailings facilities across five mining sites, which includes one inactive and indefinitely idled mining site. Of the five tailing sites, two are upstream constructed facilities. The tailings facilities’ embankment slopes are relatively flat gradients.

For decades, Cliffs has employed third-party engineers of record to design and ensure the monitoring and stability of its well-engineered tailings dams. The Cleveland-Cliffs operations team at each mining site is responsible for managing the regular monitoring of its tailings facilities. Annually, Cliffs undergoes a certification process with its external engineers of record, which involves a rigorous review and geotechnical investigations of each of our tailings facilities to ensure structural stability.

As part of the organization’s emergency preparedness operating standard, the Company’s management team at each of its operations undergo an emergency response simulation conducted by a third party crisis facilitator.

In April 2018, we celebrated the groundbreaking of our hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Toledo, OH. The event not only marks the beginning of construction for the first HBI production plant for Cliffs, but also the first plant of its kind in the Great Lakes region.

We are investing $830 million to build one of the world’s most modern and efficient iron making plants. The Toledo plant will produce 1.9 million metric tons per year of customized high-quality HBI, and will make Cleveland-Cliffs the sole producer of high-quality customized feedstock for the domestic electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers located in the Great Lakes region. Our HBI will be for the EAFs the same great feedstock our taconite pellets are, and will continue to be, for our blast furnace clients.

200 Public Square, Suite 3300, Cleveland. OH 44114-2544 - Phone: 216-694-5700