Marquette County sending support to Cleveland Cliffs to re-open Empire Mine

Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 5:23 PM EST
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Earlier this month CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, Lourenco Goncalves, announced an expansion for iron ore in either Minnesota or Michigan.

Besides looking at which site is better financially, Goncalves said community support will play a role in their decision.

Since then the Lake Superior Community Partnership has started an online petition for the support of the re-opening of Empire Mine.

"We are trying to really stay focused and trying to find the best way to show the leadership at Cliffs that we as a community and as a region support what they are doing," said Amy Clickner, CEO of Lake Superior Community Partnership.

Currently the petition has gathered close to 2,000 signatures in just a week.

"The online the petition was a really easy way to make it go viral so people all over the world have been signing it because they know what mining means to this community and to this region," said Clickner.

The LSCP is working together with Cleveland-Cliffs on a local level to send a package to the national company filled with letters of support, the petition, resolutions and a video in about three weeks.

"We don’t want to dilute the leadership team in Cleveland, Ohio with 50,000 pieces of mail. We want to show in one sustained package how much we support how they are doing," explained Clickner.

The city of Ishpeming also turned to the public through a Facebook post to see how the community thinks of the reopening.

"I was overwhelmed with the response," said Mark Slown, the Ishpeming city manager. "People were so positive and polite in responding to chairmen Goncalves request for support and feedback. It was unanimous, reopen the Empire Mine."

The Facebook post has more than 1,000 comments and 1,500 shares which will be printed out and sent to Cleveland Cliffs.

"We have a 50-50 shot here and we are only competing against one other state. We are going to show that we have a lot of heart here," said Clickner.

Cleveland Cliffs plans to make their decision later this year.

For a link to the online petition,