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Cliffs raising $400 million for DRI plant

Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. (News Tribune file photo)

Cleveland Cliffs officials announced Monday they will raise $400 million to build a hot-briquetted iron plant in Toledo, Ohio.

The company said it will sell secured notes to raise the cash needed to build the plant that will turn Minnesota iron ore into directly reduced iron that can be used in electric-arc mini-mills.

Nearly all Minnesota ore until now has gone to large open-hearth blast furnaces, and the hot-briquetted iron plant is seen as a new market for Minnesota taconite.

The ore for the Toledo plant will likely come from Cliffs’ Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay/Babbitt.

Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves announced in June that he would build the $700 million plant in Toledo with the first iron production slated for 2020. The company has been looking for a partner in the iron plant but so far hasn’t announced one.

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