MARQUETTE, Mich., April 13, 2020 — Cleveland Cliffs has announced today it will temporarily idle the Tilden Mine in Marquette County for approximately 8 weeks. A slowing economy due to the Coronavirus, and the announcement that the auto industry would temporarily shutdown and shift some facilities to produce ventilators, has also impacted Michigan’s mining industry. State Representative Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) had the following to say:

“We knew the idling of the Tilden Mine was a possibility when the auto manufacturers announced their temporary shutdown and shift to making ventilators in late March. Understanding the effect this announcement has on other industries like rail, shipping, natural gas and other supply chain industries is a serious economic concern for my district and the entire U.P. economy. State legislators must start immediate discussions with all mining, steel and auto manufacturing stakeholders to coordinate how we can best help and safely get them back in operation in order to put people back to work.”

The challenge of balancing the safety of constituents and keeping the economy running has been difficult, Cambensy said. However, she feels the precautions taken to stay home and safely distance ourselves from one another to lessen the toll of the Covid-19 virus has paid off for U.P. residents.

“We have done a great job of keeping the virus at bay in the U.P. We still must be diligent in doing so. But not finding a way to safely operate and bring back our key industries in the state would also be a serious long-term loss. By increasing testing for the Coronavirus in the U.P. workforce who are associated with critical infrastructure industries, maintaining safe distancing and increasing sanitization of these workplaces, we can responsibly handle the virus while keeping our economy moving forward.”

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