Hibbing mine extends shutdown into 2010by Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — The shutdown of a Hibbing Taconite is being extended into next year.
Cliffs Natural Resources announced the ongoing shutdown at the Hibbing mine will extend through the first quarter of 2010.
The plant was expected to restart 15 weeks after shutting down in May.
Cliffs has agreed to extend some pellet contracts to customers into next year, and has reduced its expected pellet output this year.
Hibbing Taconite has employed over 700 workers at its mine and taconite pellet plant. HibbTac is jointly owned by three companies and managed by Cliffs Natural Resources.
HibbTac is the Iron Range's second largest pellet producer, behind MinnTac at Mountain Iron.
Currently all but one of Minnesota's six Taconite mining companies are shut down. Utac in Eveleth restarted in June. A second company, Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay, starts up operations again on Sunday.