MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - "The reopening of Empire is a great opportunity for the Upper Peninsula, it’s something that our communities are built on,” said Senator Ed McBroom.
Since the announcement that Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. may be taking Empire Mine out of it's idle state, the community has been hopeful for new economic impacts. However, Amy Clickner, the CEO at the Lake Superior Community Partnership, is not getting her hopes up too quickly.
"Right now, we have to be cautiously optimistic about the next steps. I think it’s very encouraging that the CEO is talking about Michigan and that it's important to him. So, as he did state, there are I's to dot and T's to cross and we will work with them every step of the way. But again, I think cautiously optimistic for the next steps and the next phases of this project."
The reopening of the mine would bring new jobs, more businesses, and would be overall prosperous for the Marquette community and the U.P. in general.
"Mining jobs, logging jobs, natural resource extraction are huge foundational jobs for the community, so in economic development we look at those as family-sustaining jobs. They are the jobs that pay well, provide benefits to your family, and they are really key to keeping the economic ecosystem moving in our economy,” Clickner continued.
"While the closures have been thought and some folks have moved away, I still think a lot of that heritage and hard work ethic is still here. And I think it's really exciting opportunity for all of us in the U.P.,” elaborated Senator McBroom.
There is no timeline on when or if the mine will open.