Cleveland-Cliffs Inc

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

Direct Haze Emissions

In the late 2000s, Cliffs began actively working to reduce emissions which may lead to the formation of regional haze around its operations. The largest contributors were emissions of NOx and SO2 coming from its indurating furnaces, a key step in the process of preparing iron ore pellets. This was accomplished primarily through improving process efficiency and fuel management, such as the purchase of lower-sulfur solid fuels.

Cliffs continues to research and develop new indurating furnace burner technologies. In compliance with federal EPA regional haze emissions rules, new low-NOx burner technology is being installed in phases in our eligible indurating furnaces between 2017 and 2021, ultimately resulting in a 50% reduction in NOx emissions.

In 2019, Cliffs plans to economically idle its wholly-owned coal-fired power plant, Silver Bar Power, which supplies power to its Northshore Mining operations. Instead, Cliffs will be purchasing power from Minnesota Power’s grid network, which is sourced from a significant portion of renewable sources and has a lower NOx and SO2 emissions profile. This, in turn, will reduce Cliffs’ own emissions.

The following chart illustrates the actual and projected reductions in NOx and SO2 direct emissions attributable to Cleveland-Cliffs’ taconite mines and processing facilities.

Direct Haze Emissions

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Indirect Haze Emissions

Taconite mining and pellet production is energy intensive. Cliffs purchases the majority of its electricity from providers in Minnesota and Michigan, who have made significant reductions in their NOx and SO2 emission. This is through the incorporation of higher percentages of renewable energy and natural gas generation into their portfolio, and through installation of low-NOx burners, utilization of lower sulfur coals, clean coal technology conversion (e.g., scrubbers, etc.) and retirements of older, coal-fired generating units.

As a significant client, Cliffs has leveraged supplier-customer relationships to help reduce emissions. For example, Cliffs’ involvement in stabilizing the energy supply in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula facilitated the transition of the 350-megawatt coal-fueled Presque Isle Power Plant to new natural gas-generating stations with a combined output capacity of 183 megawatts. The transition, completed in Spring 2019, will result in 95% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions, and 45% reduction in particulate emissions.

Cliffs’ electrical power is supplied by sources that have achieved a 71% reduction in SO2 and NOx emissions. Our ongoing efforts are expected to deliver a 95% reduction in SO2 and NOx emissions from electrical generation sources by 2021.

The following chart illustrates the actual and projected reductions in NOx and SO2 indirect emissions attributable to the portion of the power plants electrical output that Cleveland-Cliffs’ utilizes to power its operations.

Regional Haze Emissions

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