Posted at: 10/25/2013 9:16 AM
Updated at: 10/25/2013 10:11 PM
Cliffs Natural Resources announced Friday they will be restarting two idled lines at Northshore Mining in 2014 to meet demand.
The lines have been down since January of 2013 because a customer did not need as many pellets.
About 80 people had been laid off since then, between Silver Bay and Babbitt. The company said as of Friday, 54 remain on layoff status. Around 600 people work at Northshore.
Cliffs said that a start-up schedule for the production increase and workforce plan will be developed over the coming months.
The news came during the company's earnings conference call. Leaders said that they plan on a sales volume of 22-23 million tons of pellets for 2014, thanks to securing two long-term contracts. That's why they're re-starting the lines. Officials also said they plan on running their U.S. mines at near capacity for 2014.
Along with Northshore, Cliffs owns United Taconite and partially owns Hibbing Taconite.