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      Empire Mine avoids closure through new ore deal

      The closure of the Empire Mine has been stayed by an agreement between Cliffs Natural Resources and ArcelorMittal USA Inc.

      The announcement was made by Cliffs on Thursday, detailing the extension of the mine's operation through a deal to supply iron ore pellets through the end of January 2017, with an option to extend for another year. Prior to the deal reached between the two companies, Empire Mine had no customers for pellet production beyond 2014.

      "This agreement was made possible by the close working relationships we have with ArcelorMittal, both at the commercial and operational level," said Cliffs' Executive Vice President P. Kelly Tompkins. "Importantly, this extension builds upon the long-term customer and partner relationship we have with ArcelorMittal particularly at the Empire Mine. We are pleased to continue as a reliable supplier of high-quality iron ore pellets to one of ArcelorMittal USA's facilities which is also good news for our dedicated employees who have demonstrated that Empire remains a safe, viable producer of high-quality, cost competitive pellets."

      The Empire Mine, which is 79 percent owned by Cliffs, has been producing ore pellets for over 50 years and has over 600 employees.

      Tune in to your TV6 Early News for more details and see what mine representatives had to say regarding the deal.