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Tilden Mine start is indeed good news for our area

Any bit of good news is welcome these days.

The region got just that on Tuesday when Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., announced it would resume construction of its hot-briquetted iron plant in Toledo, which moves up the restart of the Tilden Mine in National Mine.

Construction of the Toledo HBI plant was temporarily shut down om March 20, but Cleveland-Cliffs now is remobilizing the workforce to complete the project. Construction is expected to be completed in this year s fourth quarter.

The COVID-19 pandemic, though, still is ongoing. This means work has to be performed with mandatory social distancing and other new safety-related measures that limit the number of employees allowed to be present at the same time on the job.

The Tilden Mine, which employs about 850 people, is expected to restart later this month. The mine was temporarily idled in April and was expected to start operations again in July. Around 690 people were laid off during the temporary idle.

The earlier restart of Tilden comes in response to a faster improvement in steel demand from AK Steel s clients than initially anticipated, particularly in the automotive sector, according to Cleveland-Cliffs.

Mining is an important manufacturing sector in Marquette County, so the announcement is great for the local economy as well as the employees who can return to work, as well as mining itself.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement that the demand for the company s steel, iron ore and metallics products has recovered dramatically over the last month.

So, where there s a need for a product, there needs to be the actual product, and starting Tilden Mine earlier than planned will fulfill that need.

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