Cliffs Invests $700M in First Midwest Plant

The mining and natural resources company will create 130 permanent jobs and more than 1,200 construction jobs over the next two years in the Great Lakes Region.

The site of Cliffs Natural Resources' future HBI production plant in Toledo, Ohio
The site of Cliffs Natural Resources’ future HBI production plant in Toledo, Ohio

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a company that operates iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan, selected a site in Toledo, Ohio, for the development of its first hot briquetted iron production plant that will serve the steel industry. The largest and oldest independent iron ore mining firm in the U.S. plans to invest $700 million in this project. Cliffs is currently in discussions with several passive financial partners. Midrex Technologies will design, engineer and procure equipment for the new plant, which will have the nominal capacity to produce 1.6 million tons of HBI per year. 

Located at the Ironville Terminal in the Port of Toledo, Cliffs’ new plant will be 117 miles from its headquarters in Cleveland. The company anticipates breaking ground on construction of the HBI plant early next year, with the production of commercial tonnage of HBI beginning in mid-2020.

Accessible infrastructure

The brownfield site at the Port of Toledo is close to Cliffs’ future customers and provides the company logistics advantages, including affordable gas and access to multiple rail carriers. The company will create 130 new jobs in the manufacturing sector and support 1,200 construction jobs over the next two years.

“Today’s announcement marks a very important strategic milestone for Cliffs as we begin to implement our plans to be the sole producer of high-quality HBI for the EAF steel market in the Great Lakes region,” said Cliffs Natural Resources Chairman, President & CEO Lourenco Goncalves, in a prepared statement.

The City of Toledo will provide an expansion incentive of 30 percent for 10 years, with an estimated value of $1 million. The deal includes $30 million in state incentives. The estimated annual income tax to the city is $315,000.

Image courtesy of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority via Twitter