ArcelorMittal USA will take over managing duties of Hibbing Taconite from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. in August.
The arrangement follows Cliffs’ recent decision to resign its role as Hibbing Taconite’s managing partner when its contract expires later this year. Hibbing Taconite began production in 1976 and now has 735 hourly and salaried employees.
While management of the facility will change, the ownership stakes in Hibbing Taconite will not change, the companies said last week.
While management will change, ownership of the Iron Range operation will not. The iron ore mine and pellet processing facility, which produces 7.7 million tons of taconite annually, is 62.3 percent owned by ArcelorMittal. Cliffs owns a 23 percent stake, and U.S. Steel has a 14.7 percent share.
In a statement, Arcelor Mittal USA President John Brett, said the decision to take over management of the Hibbing facility was a no-brainer.
“When Cliffs announced it would tender its resignation as managing partner, we knew that assuming oversight for the operation was the right thing for our business, the Hibbing workers and the Iron Range community,” he said. “Assuming the role of managing partner demonstrates ArcelorMittal’s continued commitment to Hibbing Taconite while ensuring the long-term supply of quality iron ore to our key operations in the United States.”
ArcelorMittal, he said, runs the Minorca Mine in Minnesota and is responsible for a significant portfolio of raw material and mining assets throughout the world. The company produced more than 62 million tons of iron ore in 2017.
Brett said the three partners will work together during the next eight months to ensure an orderly management transition.
Cliffs, which owns United Taconite and Northshore Mining in Minnesota, also operates iron mining facilities in Michigan and is building a pig iron plant in Toledo, Ohio.
Last year, Cliffs bought up a swath of iron-rich land in Nashwauk, Minn., with the hopes of one day mining the land. Cliffs is suing the state of Minnesota in an effort to gain the proper mining permits needed to mine that property. Some of the property in question sits adjacent to the former Essar Steel Minnesota site, which has been purchased out of bankruptcy court by Nubai Global Investment, a British Virgin Islands firm.