United Taconite (UTAC) Mine is located in Eveleth, MN. The taconite is mined and then transported approximately 10 miles by rail to its processing facility in Forbes, MN. The mine began operating in 1965 as EVTAC Mining Company until 2003. Subsequently, Cleveland-Cliffs and Laiwu Steel Group jointly purchased the mine assets in Dec. 2003. In 2008, Cliffs acquired ownership interest to wholly own and operate United Taconite.
United Taconite operations consist of an open pit truck and shovel mine where two stages of crushing occur before the ore is transported by rail, to the plant site. At the plant site, the additional stage of crushing occurs before the ore is sent to the concentrator. The concentrator utilizes rod mills, ball mills and magnetic separation to produce a magnetite concentrate, which is delivered to the pellet plant. From the site, pellets are transported by rail to a ship loading port at Duluth, Minnesota.
In 2017, Cleveland-Cliffs completed a $75 million capital investment project for operational upgrades and new infrastructure to produce a newly developed Mustang superflux iron ore pellet.
United Taconite operates an Environmental Management System in compliance with ISO 14011:2015 requirements.