Cliffs Natural Resources officials gave an update to community members this morning in Marquette.

Guests were treated to breakfast before new company president and CEO Gary Halverson spoke on topics like lowered operational costs in 2013. He also gave safety statistics, stressing the importance of on-and-off-the-job safety and how to achieve it.

“We have divisions and groups of people and mines that have gone for millions of man hours without having an incident so when you look at those individual track records I think we take each day at a time for each of our employees and what our employees can do to follow, to look at the hazards that exist and eliminate those and make sure that we don’t work unsafely,” Halverson said.

Halverson has been with Cliffs for just over three months and one of the first things he did was to shut down chromite and nickel development in Canada. He also spoke about the company’s environmental stewardship.

“And then in iron ore, in the U.S. side, we hit our stretch goals,” Halverson said. “And so that just means that, for example, Hibbing and Empire had zero water quality excursions in 2013. I think that’s a fantastic reflection on the management here.”

Cliffs recently announced that the Empire Mine operation will remain open through the end of 2016. Halverson credited those who worked hard to find ways to create and sustain growth in the region.