Cliffs pellet deal doesn’t affect Empire Mine

Cliffs Natural Resources has a new contract to produce iron ore pellets for one of America’s largest steel manufacturers.

The new contract with Ohio-based AK Steel will last through 2023.

There’s no word from Cliffs on which of its mines supply the taconite pellets for AK Steel, but Cliffs officials say the new contract does not affect Marquette County’s Empire Mine in any way.

Empire is still scheduled to close at the end of next year, when its contract with Luxembourg-based steel company ArcelorMittal expires.