Cleveland-Cliffs Provides Comment on MSHA United Taconite Accident Report


Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF) today provided comment regarding a U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) report. The report involves an April 2007 accident resulting in the death of a United Taconite miner.

The fatality occurred when a drill tipped over after four bolts failed, diminishing the load-bearing capacity of the associated leveling-jack assembly. The drill manufacturer, which expressly undertook responsibility for training the drill's operators, represented that the drill was capable of being safely operated on slopes consistent with the grade level where the accident occurred. Since the accident, the drill manufacturer has stated that they have redesigned the drill, with eight stronger bolts replacing the four bolts previously used on each leveling-jack assembly. United Taconite officials are conducting a separate investigation, which is yet to be completed.

After the accident, MSHA issued citations to both the drill manufacturer and United Taconite. The citations issued to United Taconite have been challenged before an administrative law judge of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. United Taconite disputes the allegations that violations of the mandatory standards existed. This litigation is only in the initial stages.

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Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an international mining company, the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America and a major supplier of metallurgical coal to the global steelmaking industry. The Company operates six iron ore mines in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada, and three coking coal mines in West Virginia and Alabama. Cliffs also owns 80% of Portman Limited, a large iron ore mining company in Australia, serving the Asian iron ore markets with direct-shipping fines and lump ore. In addition, the Company has a 30% interest in the Amapa Project, a Brazilian iron ore project, and a 45% economic interest in the Sonoma Project, an Australian coking and thermal coal project.

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Source: Cleveland-Cliffs Inc