VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – NYSE-listed iron-ore producer Cleveland-Cliffs has acquired extensive iron-ore landholdings in Minnesota that could in the future serve to replace depleted resources.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Cliffs has completed the acquisition of interests located in Itasca County, west of Nashwauk, Minnesota, from Glacier Park Iron Ore Properties (GPIOP).
The interests include a combination of undivided and whole fee interests as well as mineral and surface leases, all lying within the Biwabik Iron Formation. The land acquired is about 224 ha and the property being leased is about 1 301 ha.
Cliffs advised that it expects to be able to leverage the acquired real estate interests to develop a financially sustainable plan for the site, which may be considered as other iron-ore resources deplete.
The purchased properties include parcels that were formerly leased by GPIOP to Mesabi Metallics Company (Mesabi Metallics), formerly known as Essar Steel Minnesota. Mesabi Metallics’ lease rights terminated on October 31, when it failed to exit bankruptcy in connection with Chippewa’s inability to timely secure funding and other consents for its plan to take Mesabi Metallics out of bankruptcy at that time.
“We are enthused about the acquisition of this property, which came into play after Chippewa failed to follow through on its obligation to obtain financing and a bankruptcy exit for Mesabi Metallics by October 31. Despite several botched attempts by others, it is now the time for Cleveland-Cliffs to sit at the table with other responsible parties and develop a realistic solution for this site,” stated chairperson, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves in a press release.
Cleveland-Cliffs has been active in Minnesota for 115 years, and currently employs about 1 750 people in three separate mining and pelletising operations throughout the state.