Empire Mine resumes production

The Empire Mine in Palmer has resumed production after a fire shut it down for nine days.

Cliffs Natural Resources officials say front end loaders are now transporting limestone into the mine’s concentrator plant. Limestone is used during the iron ore pellet manufacturing process.

The mine’s limestone feeding system was damaged in the December 2nd fire. The entire system will be demolished, and Cliffs does not plan to replace it since the Empire Mine is scheduled to end production late next year.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Cliffs officials, the United Steelworkers and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration are investigating it. The Tilden Mine and the company’s processing facilities were not affected by the fire.