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UP Lawmakers Ask For Empire Mine To Reopen

Two Upper Peninsula lawmakers are encouraging a mining company to reopen a mine in the UP.

State Representative Sara Cambensy of Marquette introduced a House Resolution Thursday encouraging the state to show support for Cleveland-Cliffs Mining Company as they consider either reinvesting in their Empire Mine in Michigan, or transferring investment to Minnesota.

“Cleveland Cliffs has been a pillar of our regional economy for over 170 years and they continue to be a vital supplier of iron ore to the steel mills that support our state’s auto and manufacturing industries,” Cambensy said. “Continued investment in the Marquette Iron Range will benefit our families, cities and townships by providing good jobs and a healthy tax base.”

The same resolution was introduced in the Michigan Senate by state Senator Tom Casperson earlier this week.

“For generations, Cleveland Cliffs has been an iconic, critical component to our way of life in the Upper Peninsula, having responsibly mined iron ore on the Marquette range for over 170 years,” said state Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba). “Cleveland Cliffs’ impact reaches far beyond the UP, as evidenced by the vehicles made in Detroit that are the product of its raw materials. With the significant impact that Cleveland Cliffs has on the economy and way of life in the UP and throughout the state, I am so proud to stand with Rep. Cambensy, local leaders and Yoopers everywhere to urge Cleveland Cliffs to re-open and expand the Empire Mine.”

The Empire Mine was idled in 2016, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.

The resolutions encourage Cleveland-Cliffs to choose to reinvest in the Empire Mine, and argues that the state’s strict environmental standards will ensure responsible stewardship of the area’s natural resources as ore and other minerals are extracted.

“We cannot turn our backs on mining as the need for domestic steel and metal grows. Michigan as a whole stands to benefit. It’s important to express our support for Cleveland-Cliffs and the jobs they provide for our working families in our region and state, which are invaluable,” Cambensy said. “That’s why Sen. Casperson and I are bringing awareness to our colleagues in Lansing and asking for their support in passing this resolution.”

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