MARQUETTE — Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Laurenco Goncalves recently stated during a public conference call that the company was close to announcing a resurgence in operations at the Empire Mine. The mine, which was closed in 2016, played a prominent role in bolstering employment and economic opportunities, as well as sustaining surrounding Upper Peninsula communities throughout its 52-year existence. In response to these recent comments, state Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) issued the following statement:

“In recent discussions with Cleveland-Cliffs Michigan Operations on Monday, we were made aware that there will be a pretty significant pellet shortage in the market this coming year. It is my understanding that Cliffs is still in negotiations regarding possible partnerships to reopen the Empire Mine. If successful, they will move ahead with the other main factors they need in conjunction with the state of Michigan and major energy corporations to make the possibility of reopening the Empire Mine a reality. I remain heavily invested in helping Cliffs secure the support they need from the state at this time. The Marquette Iron Range and the jobs they bring to our region are undeniably some of the most critically important, high-paying jobs that legislators need to fight to bring back and sustain. Cliffs and the people of the 109th have my full support as they move forward to do so.”