Steel Mills

Cleveland-Cliffs Idles AK Coal Indefinitely

Written by Sandy Williams

Cleveland-Cliffs will idle AK Coal due to reduced demand for coal in internal operations resulting from manufacturing shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said in a statement: “Cleveland-Cliffs continues to evaluate internal operational requirements for metallurgical coal required for steelmaking. Significant reductions in manufacturing in the United States resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among our automotive clients, have dramatically reduced our internal need for coal, leading to the indefinite idling of the coal mine. The coal leadership team will maintain the assets and ensure environmental compliance with state and federal regulations. Longer term options, including a sale of the asset, will be evaluated during this indefinite idle of AK Coal.”

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves divested the company of its final coal operations at the end of 2015 in favor of a pellet-centric strategy. Acquisition of AK Steel last year included the coal operations in Somerset, Pa.

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