In honor of its 170th anniversary, the parent firm of Hibbing and United Taconite is changing its name back to the original Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. name, effective immediately
The Ohio-based entity has been called Cliffs Natural Resources since 2008. It adopted that name after the company announced a plan to spend $10 billion buying Appalachian coal giant Alpha Natural Resources. The acquisition deal later fell apart and never went through.
Still, the idea at the time was to use a name that signaled its broader range beyond iron ore mining and pelletizing. Now it’s going back to the original name, which perhaps better reflects the company’s current state of affairs.
In the last three years, Cliffs has undergone a major restructuring to cope with the global downturn in mining. It shed all or most of its coal holdings and now focuses mainly on iron-ore mining. The company’s NYSE stock ticker symbol “CLF” will remain the same.
In Minnesota, Cliffs operates large iron-ore mining and pelletizing operations such as Hibbing Taconite in Hibbing, United Taconite in Forbes/Eveleth and Northshore Mining in Silver Bay/Babbitt.
“The historical name Cleveland-Cliffs is synonymous with our strong heritage, and is the perfect one for our next era of growth,” said CEO Lourenco Goncalves in a statement. “As we did more than 60 years ago, when we adopted pelletizing as a smart business opportunity to utilize American iron ore and provide the domestic blast furnaces with customized pellets, Cleveland-Cliffs is once again reinventing itself as the supplier of high-quality iron units to the Great Lakes region. With our expansion into the production of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) to supply the growing electric arc furnace steel industry, Cleveland-Cliffs is the best name to represent our strong present and our bright future.”
Cliffs announced last month that it is building a new “HBI” iron-ore briquette plant in Toledo, Ohio. Minnesota and six other states had been possible contenders for the project.
In May, Cliffs’ United Taconite operation started production at a new $75 million Mustang “superflux” pellet plant in Forbes, Minn. Company officials celebrated the opening of that plant noting that its restructuring is on firm footing and that customer orders are growing.