Focused on Serving North American Steel Producers

Cliffs has been focused on executing a plan that fortifies our U.S. Iron Ore business, streamlines our portfolio of assets and allocates our capital in a much more disciplined manner. Our focus has been to strengthen the overall financial profile of the Company through measured actions to reduce debt, decrease overall spending, exit non-performing operations and shed non-core assets. The same core strengths that have made us so resilient for over 170 years will allow us to continue delivering value for our customers and our shareholders in the future.

Strong U.S. Market Position

  • High barriers to entry
  • Long-term contracts limit exposure to seaborne price volatility
  • Low-cost producer of value-added product

100% of our U.S. iron ore production is pellets, which command a premium price, are tailored to meet each customer’s specifications and are sold to leading steel companies under long-term contracts.

Our costs are lower as a result of inherent transportation advantages associated with our mine locations near the Great Lakes which allows for transportation via railroads and loading ports. Cliffs is also well-protected from imported pellets, as the logistical costs to bring pellets through the St. Lawrence Seaway are incredibly burdensome. Our U.S. Iron Ore mines also benefit from on-site pellet production and ore production facilities located a short distance from the mines.

Being the low-cost producer of pellets in this market limits the impact of fluctuations seaborne iron ore pricing on our business. Long-lived assets with an average mine life of approximately 30 years provide the opportunity to maintain our significant market position well into the future.

Products Tailored to Customer Needs

  • Pioneers in the beneficiation and pelletizing process
  • Well-maintained mines run by world-class operators
  • Pellets customized to meet blast furnace specifications

After U.S. ore reserves depleted in the early 1950s, Cliffs revolutionized the process of transforming low-grade ore into saleable product. A leader in iron ore mining technology, Cliffs’ engineering and technical staffs support our operations and improvement efforts. Our customers also utilize our resources for laboratory testing and simulation of blast furnace conditions.

Serving North American steel industry

  • High-grade, premium pellets customized for and fed directly to blast furnaces
  • DR-grade pellets to serve the growing potential of EAF steel production
  • Established relationships with customers

Widely recognized for innovation in iron ore mining and processing technologies and joint-venture management, we are committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective iron ore products. We produce 13 grades of iron ore pellets, including standard, fluxed and high manganese, for North American customers.

Our USIO mines have the capability to produce DR-grade pellets, which offers the opportunity to enter the market for ferrous scrap substitutes and sell to leading mini mills. We are pursuing this opportunity to further capitalize on the growing potential of electric arc furnace (EAF) steel production in North America. Our Northshore Mining operation in Minnesota is also undergoing an expansion project in order to produce up to 3.5 million long tons of low-silica DR-grade pellets a year, which will supply our new HBI plant.

In April 2018, we celebrated the groundbreaking of our first hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Toledo, OH. HBI is a specialized high-quality iron alternative to scrap that, when used as a feedstock, allows the EAF to produce more valuable grades of steel. As the first plant of its kind in the Great Lakes region, we expect our HBI to partially replace the over 3 million metric tons of orebased metallics that are imported into the Great Lakes every year from Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Venezuela. Our Toledo plant is expected to produce HBI at a rate of 1.6 million metric tons per year when brought to production in 2020.

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