Archive | Cliffs Natural Resources

Bloom Lake mine, dumped by Cliffs, to reopen by March – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – November 18, 2017)

The Bloom Lake iron ore mine in northern Quebec, shut down and abandoned by Cleveland-Cliffs in 2014, will be back up and running by March, the mine’s new owner says.

Quebec Iron Ore Inc., a subsidiary of Champion Iron Ltd., said Wednesday that it already has 250 employees on site and will have 450 workers by Christmas at the facility near Fermont, Quebec, near the border with Labrador.

The new company raised $350 million in financing, including about $51 million from the Quebec government, a $100 million loan from a government pension fund and another $80 million loan from a private lender. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Already Spooking Buyers of Foreign Steel, Cliffs Says – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – July 27, 2017)

President Donald Trump’s pledge to safeguard U.S. steelmakers from cheap overseas shipments is already working even as hopes fade of an imminent announcement of measures.

At least that’s what Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves says is happening as buyers shy away from imported steel in case the White House hands down restrictions that would invoke retroactive penalties. The ensuing increase in demand for domestic metal is allowing U.S. producers to push up prices, he said in a telephone interview.

“We are seeing that happening right now,” said Goncalves, whose company sells iron ore to U.S. mills. “Right now there’s a lot of people who are scared.” Continue Reading →

CLIFFS SHOWS IT’S FOR REAL – by Jerry Burnes (Mesabi Daily News – June 28, 2017)

Lourenco Goncalves isn’t one for the quiet retreat, but anyone within shouting distance of the Iron Range already knew that. The chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources is a dying breed. As the alpha CEO becomes a thing of the past — replaced by the more unimposing figures crafted by Silicon Valley — Goncalves remains a thunderous presence atop one the Iron Range’s most successful companies.

So in April, when the CEO stood in front of local stakeholders in Chisholm and asked why it’s so hard to believe his message, the point should have resonated: Why is it so hard for the business community take him at his word? To him, the promises have been filled, the checks written, and yet, there’s work left to be done on the Iron Range.

For the past half-decade, investors, Wall Street and industry types cautiously eyed Cliffs as it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and clawed its way back to solvency. That battle kept the company, Goncalves said, focused on the Cliffs’ core operations as it shed coal mines and exited the Canadian iron ore scene. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO headlines Duluth mining conference – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – April 19, 2017)

Lourenco Goncalves had engineers and company executives laughing in their chairs at a mining conference Wednesday with his one-liners and brutally honest opinions of his competitors, but he said he’s deadly serious about trying to gain control of the former Essar Steel project in Nashwauk.

Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources, says his company’s is the only serious offer for the former Essar Steel Minnesota project that may go up for auction in a Delaware bankruptcy court next week.

Goncalves was speaking to the annual conference of the Minnesota chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Continue Reading →

Cliffs, Chippewa Capital Partners make bids for the former Essar Steel Minnesota – by Dee DePass (Minneapolis Star Tribune – April 11, 2017)

Assets of the Iron Range facility are at stake.

Two firms, both already with interests on the Iron Range, have made bids for the holdings of the former Essar Steel Minnesota as a bankruptcy reorganization deadline nears.

An investor group called Chippewa Capital Partners submitted its bid to the bankruptcy court in Delaware for $250 million as part of a proposal to take over and complete the half-built taconite plant in the Nashwauk, Minn. Mesabi Metallics, the former Essar Steel Minnesota, said Chippewa is associated with the group that bought several properties from the bankrupt Magnetation.

Just as Chippewa made its play, the Ohio-based Cliffs Natural Resources — which operates Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite and Northshore Mining and has already bid for the mineral rights associated with the Nashwauk site — has offered $75 million to buy the assets of the former Essar project. That bid has not been filed with the court. Continue Reading →

CLIFFS MARKS 170 YEARS OF MINING – by Jim Romsaas (Mesabi Daily News – February 21, 2017)


Founded by 11 men from Cleveland in 1847, Cliffs Natural Resources is now known as North America’s largest producer of iron ore pellets. Celebrating 170 years as a company in 2017, Cliffs has been independent for all of the company’s long history and has a very positive outlook for this year, as well.

“The significance of this milestone cannot be over-emphasized. How many U.S. companies can state that they have been instrumental in building and shaping our society since 1847? Not many,’’ said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs.

Cliffs, which has weathered the ups and downs of the industry and also world events, now has Minnesota operations at United Taconite (Eveleth), Hibbing Taconite, and Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. Continue Reading →

Cliffs profits bounce back with iron ore demand – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – February 9, 2017)

Cliffs Natural Resources, the nation’s largest supplier of taconite iron ore, rode the recovering domestic steel industry back to profitability in 2016, posting a net income of $199 million compared to a net loss of $748 million in 2015.

The Cleveland-based company on Thursday announced its revenues were $754 million last year, up 58 percent over a crippling 2015.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Cliffs recorded a net income of $81 million, up from a net loss of $58 million for the last quarter the year before, according to the company’s quarterly report issued Thursday. Continue Reading →

Year’s Best Miner Cliffs Says Trump to Keep Good Times Rolling – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – December 9, 2016)

The head of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. was preparing for a “worst-case scenario” next year. Instead, he got Donald Trump.

Cliffs, the world’s best-performing raw materials producer this year, will probably generate “a lot” of cash, with which it will pay down debt, Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves said. He assigned President-elect Trump’s focus on infrastructure building and a crackdown on unfair trade as reasons his company and the steel industry are poised for more good times.

Shares of the Cleveland-based company almost quadrupled this year through early November amid signs of improving demand and successful U.S. trade cases against steel imports, which helped boost domestic steel prices. With Trump pledging to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure and to further clamp down on trade cases against countries including China, the shares have surged an additional 69 percent since the election. Continue Reading →

CLIFFS CEO: ‘WE FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE’ – by Jerry Burnes (Mesabi Daily News – November 16, 2016)

Stable steel consumption has contributed to a recent rebound in iron ore prices, according to Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves.

He presented Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Global Metals and Mining Conference in New York, where he told the investors that demand, not the market, is driving prices. A constant domestic demand around 120 million tons is behind Goncalves projecting a $60 per ton price in 2017. “Things have been playing out the way we expected,” he said. “Iron ore is a commodity that can be controlled. Market control is not accurate.”

The biggest variable in the U.S. market for demand lately is illegally imported steel, a story that is old hat for mining companies across the region. Steel companies answered the question of how much imported steel was absorbed into the supply, Goncalves said, with four trade cases that led to high tariffs and the weeding out of foreign stock. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO Says ‘Know-Nothing’ Iron Bears Will Be Wrong Again – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – September 13, 2016)

The largest U.S. iron-ore producer says the bears are getting it wrong all over again. Prices will probably be sustained above $50 a metric ton as demand in China is stable and the impact of new supply won’t be as severe as forecast, according to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

“Those forecasts saying that prices will go to $40 or $30 or whatever, they haven’t materialized,” Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves said in a phone interview. “It’s not going to happen at the end of the year. Do you know what they’re going to say next? They’ll say it’ll be next year. That’s the reason I don’t believe them. They don’t know anything.”

Iron ore has rallied in 2016, confounding a slew of predictions earlier in the year that lackluster demand in China and rising low-cost supply would combine to drag prices lower. With banks and miners now focusing on the months through to the year-end, some forecasters are again predicting a retreat. Continue Reading →

Cliffs breaks new ground on the Iron Range – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio – August 11, 2016)

After a year of layoffs and mine closures in northeast Minnesota that occurred while the U.S. steel industry grappled with a historic downturn, the Iron Range celebrated a piece of good news Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton and other state leaders were on hand as Cliffs Natural Resources broke ground on a $65 million expansion at its United Taconite plant in Forbes.

The upgrades will allow Cliffs to produce a new specialty iron ore pellet it calls the “Mustang” pellet, which will supply North America’s largest steel blast furnace at the Indiana Harbor facility outside Chicago, operated by the steelmaker Arcelor Mittal.

In May, Cliffs announced a new 10-year supply contract with Arcelor Mittal. The new pellet, which will begin production in March 2017, replaces a pellet produced at the Empire Mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which Cliffs closed earlier this month when the mine ran out of ore. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO paints upbeat picture of potential for disputed Essar Steel site – by Mike Hughlett (Minneapolis StarTribune – July 12, 2016)

CEO says firm would build “direct- reduced iron” plant; Essar has vowed to fight its ouster in court.

The CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. says that if his mining company gets control of the newly bankrupt Essar Steel site in Nashwauk, Minn., it would build the first of what could be several “direct-reduced iron” plants — an advancement for Minnesota’s iron ore industry.

Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland-based Cliffs, made the remarks Tuesday at a public meeting at the Nashwauk Township Community Center along with Gov. Mark Dayton. Cliffs has talked before about building a direct-reduced iron plant in Minnesota, but Tuesday marked the company’s most detailed ­comments.

Last week, Dayton terminated Essar Steel Minnesota’s mineral leases after the steelmaker failed to pay $66 million due the state for the company’s long-stalled $1.9 billion taconite mine in Nashwauk. That prompted Essar, an arm of India-based conglomerate Essar Global, to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Natural Resources to Reopen Minnesota Mine Early – by Tess Stynes (Wall Street Journal – June 9, 2016)

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. said it plans to restart its United Taconite mining operation in Minnesota during August, two months earlier than recently expected.

The U.S.’s biggest iron-ore miner cited a contract to supply the majority of U.S. Steel Canada’s iron-ore pellet requirement for the third and fourth quarters, which also spurred Cliffs to raise its sales volume and production guidance for 2016.

The moves come after Cliffs on May 31 announced it had reached a 10-year agreement to supply steel giant ArcelorMittal with iron-ore pellets, which lifted Cliffs stock 39% that day. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Jumps Most in Seven Years as Profit Tops Estimates – by Sonja Elmquist (Bloomberg News – April 28, 2016)

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. iron-ore miner, jumped the most in more than seven years after first-quarter earnings exceeded estimates and the company announced supply-contract renewals with steelmakers.

Cliffs rose 25 percent to $5.39 at 4 p.m. in New York, the biggest gain since November 2008. The closing price was the highest since June. The Cleveland-based company’s shares have more than tripled this year as commodities including iron ore rallied.

Cliffs cut its cash production costs by more than a quarter in the U.S. and Asia, and Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves said in a statement that “consistent signs of a real recovery” in the domestic steel market are helping bolster orders at clients. The company boosted its capital spending forecast as it develops a new iron-ore pellet with ArcelorMittal, and reached a supply agreement with U.S. Steel Canada. Continue Reading →

Cliffs Natural Resources investors face more bad news: A class action lawsuit – by John Funk (Cleveland Plain Dealer – March 16, 2016)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Investors who still own stock in Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources face another round of bad news.

Their stock lost more than 12 percent of value Tuesday, closing at just $2.38 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, after two investors who previously bought unsecured bonds in the company filed a class action lawsuit.

The complaint, filed in a federal court in New York, alleges that Cliffs, still the nation’s larges iron ore mining company, gave big institutional bondholders and banks an opportunity to exchange their unsecured Cliffs notes for new unconditionally guaranteed notes that pay an 8 percent rate of interest and come due in 2020. Continue Reading →