Cliffs CEO: HibTac needs Mesabi Metallics’ mineral leases

Leaders discuss future of HibTac
Leaders discuss future of HibTac(Northern News Now)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 9:41 PM CST
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Minneapolis, MN. -- At the Twin Cities Minnesota Chamber Economic Summit Thursday, Cleveland Cliffs CEO, Lourenco Goncalves, spoke about his hopes to secure another mining site in Minnesota.

Goncalves said Thursday he’s working to secure mineral leases for the long-stalled Mesabi Metallics project near Nashwauk.

He claimed the ore there would be mined by Hibbing Taconite for another 27 years.

That would secure the jobs of more than 700 United Steel workers, as the current HibTac site will likely run out of ore in the next few years.

This also comes as Mesabi Metallics is asking the state Supreme Court to review whether they can hold on to the mineral leases.

If the Supreme Court denies Mesabi, the state will reassign the leases, possibly to Cliffs.

Cleveland Cliff leaders are hopeful that HibTac can continue doing important mining for the country.

“Minnesota is the foundation of all the iron production in North America,” Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland Cliffs, said. “I would like you to know that if mining in Minnesota was not happening, we would not be able to produce cars.”

Cliffs competitor, U.S. Steel, has also shown interest in the leases.

If the state Supreme Court doesn’t take up the case, Goncalves said he plans to sit down with state leaders to reach a deal.

We reached out to union United Steel Workers to hear their reaction to Goncalves speech.

We’ve not heard back.