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      Cliffs Mining playing catch-up after rough winter

      Cliffs Natural Resources is working to pick up the pace in its shipping operations in the UP following a delayed start due to the long winter.

      The shipping season started early in March, but only five vessels have been loaded and sent off so far due to difficulties getting ships through the ice. But Cliffs officials say they're confident the company can get rid of the slack with some extra work.

      "What it means, really, for us is that we're going to have a very busy summer. Um, we're gonna have to bring in more vessels, if possible, in order to make up for what we lost with the slow start" said Michigan District Manager for Public Affairs Jennifer Huetter.

      Huetter says the four vessels that recently came into the Marquette Ore Docks are proof the ore boats can now start to get through the ice. The company is reportedly sending more vessels en route to the ore docks.