LANSING —State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) and a delegation of Upper Peninsula leaders met today in Cleveland, Ohio with Cleveland Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves to discuss the possibility of reopening the Empire Mine in Richmond Township.
Cambensey was joined by Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO Amy Clickner, NICE Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine, Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown, General Manager of Cliffs Michigan Operations Jim Kochevar, and Upper Peninsula Power Co. Vice President of Business Development and Communications Brett French. With a crate full of resolutions and letters of support, the team played a video of regional leaders and United Steelworkers members to help make their case for Cliffs’ investment in the U.P.
“Our small team came together today to stand up for iron ore, and to stand up for steel and industry in our great state of Michigan,” Cambensy said. “We talked about the importance of getting the message out that our mining laws and regulations in Michigan are some of the most environmentally strict standards in the world. CCI is looking to our state to be partners in the next generation of mining investments. I’m confident we can do that, and I would like to thank my fellow legislators, our governor and his administrative team for stepping up and coming to the table to help make sure we are doing everything we can to make reopening the Empire Mine a reality.”
On Tuesday of this week, the Michigan House of Representatives approved Cambensy’s House Resolution 303 urging the state to show support for Cleveland-Cliffs Mining Company as they consider either reinvesting in their Empire Mine in Michigan, or transferring investment to Minnesota. Cleveland Cliffs has been part of the regional U.P. economy for more than 170 years, and they still supply iron ore to the steel mills that support Michigan’s auto and manufacturing industries.