Already the majority owner of the facility, ArcelorMittal USA on Wednesday, Dec. 26, said it will take over day-to-day management of Hibbing Taconite in 2019 after Cleveland-Cliffs leaves the job.
ArcelorMittal officials said there will be no changes in employment, production volumes or operating plans after the changeover set for Aug. 12.
Cleveland-Cliffs in August announced it would no longer manage the Hibbing property, instead focusing on its own Minnesota iron ore operations, United Taconite in Eveleth/Forbes and Northshore Mining in Silver Bay/Babbitt.
Cliffs and U.S. Steel will retain their part ownership of Hibbing Taconite. The ownership group said it will continue to honor the current contract with the United Steelworkers at the Hibbing operations.
ArcelorMittal also owns and operates the Minorca mine and processing operations outside Virginia.
"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," said John Brett, president and CEO, ArcelorMittal USA, who will have functional oversight for the Hibbing operation. "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, among the largest steelmakers in the world, is already a big producer of global iron ore at 62 million tons annually.
ArcelorMittal owns 62 percent of Hibbing Taconite while U.S. Steel has 15 percent and Cliffs 23 percent. Hibbing Taconite began production in 1976 and began material shipments in 1977. The facility has about 735 employees and produced 7.7 million tons of magnetite taconite iron ore in 2017.
Cliffs' officials have said the mine faces a looming problem of running out ot of quality iron ore at the existing mine within the next decade.
In 2017, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $68.7 billion and crude steel production of 93.1 million metric tons.