Raw Material Operations
The Northshore Mining facility, which originally operated under Reserve Mining Company, was the first taconite processing facility in North America. Northshore Mining’s Peter Mitchell Mine is located near Babbitt, on the northeastern end of the Mesabi Iron Range, and the taconite is transported 47 miles by rail to the processing facility in Silver Bay, near Lake Superior. Cleveland-Cliffs leases 100% of the mineral rights.
Operations consist of an open-pit truck and shovel mine where two stages of crushing occur before the ore is transported along a wholly-owned rail line to the plant in Silver Bay. At the plant, two additional stages of crushing occur before the ore is sent to the concentrator. The concentrator utilizes rod mills and magnetic separation to produce a magnetite concentrate, which is delivered to the pellet plant located on-site. The plant has a ship loading port located on Lake Superior.
Cleveland-Cliffs recently completed a $100 million expansion at its Northshore Mining operation to support large-scale commercial production of DR-grade pellets. With its completion, Northshore Mining is now the only U.S.-based iron ore processing facility to produce low silica DR-grade pellets. The Northshore operation is producing DR-grade pellet feedstock inventory for Cleveland-Cliffs' Direct Reduction Plant in Toledo, Ohio.