Exec: Empire Mine will close late 2014, early 2015

Published:

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) -- An executive with the company that operates the Empire Mine in the central Upper Peninsula says its operations will decrease in coming months and cease altogether in late 2014 or early 2015.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. chief executive Joseph Carrabba spoke about the plans Monday in Marquette. The Mining Journal (http://bit.ly/YLLzep ) reports that he says the closing "will be a very progressive process."

The Empire Mine opened in 1963 and has produced 260 million tons of iron ore. Carrabba says it's been a "huge success" but says its viability is declining.

Cliffs employs about 830 people at the Empire Mine and about 730 at nearby Tilden Mine.

The Cleveland-based company said in November it expected to lay off about 500 workers from the mines in April.

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Online:

http://http://www.cliffsnaturalresources.com