Sen. Casperson and Rep. Cambensy testify in support of U.P. mining industry

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, and Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, testified before the Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday in support of a resolution to encourage Cleveland Cliffs Inc. to resume active mining operations at their Empire Mine in Marquette County.

Cleveland Cliffs idled the Empire Mine indefinitely in 2016, laying off hundreds of workers. Now the company is not only looking to reopen the mine, but to greatly expand its operations as well.

“Cleveland Cliffs has been a critical component of the Upper Peninsula way of life for generations,” Casperson said. “Iron ore mining has shaped our culture and has been an iconic industry for Yoopers for over 170 years. I am proud to stand with Representative Cambensy and other local leaders to urge Cleveland Cliffs to re-open and expand the Empire Mine.”

Cambensy agreed.

“The time to invest in the next generation of iron ore mining is now. We have a short window of opportunity to recapture the more than 300 high-paying mining jobs in Marquette County that we lost in 2016,” Cambensy said. “These are family-sustaining jobs with benefits that keep kids in our schools and support many other industries and the regional economy.”


Top photo: Rep. Cambensy and Sen. Casperson give testimony to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Bottom photo: U.P. leaders meet after the hearing. From left to right: Casperson; Mark Slown, city manager, Ishpeming; Cambensy; Amy Clickner, director, Lake Superior Partnership; Brett French, vice president business development UPPCO (Upper Peninsula Power Company); Bryan DeAugustine, superintendent, NICE (National Mine, Ishpeming Township, Champion – Humbolt – Spurr Townships, Ely Township) schools.

Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of these and other Casperson photos, click the image or visit and click Photowire under the Media Center tab.