The Interlake Steamship Company moves first load of Cliffs’ Mustang Pellets for ArcelorMittal

Mustang pellets being loaded onto M/V James R. Barker at Duluth-Superior.

The 1,004-foot M/V James R. Barker sailed Saturday from Duluth-Superior with 60,000 tons of Mustang superflux pellets—the first cargo of its kind since the new pellet production began at Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s United Taconite mine last month.

The inaugural shipment departed the CN/Duluth dock to begin its two-and-a-half-day journey to ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago, Indiana, where the cargo will be discharged. ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor is the largest integrated steelmaking complex in North America.

“We feel very fortunate to carry the Mustang pellet for Cliffs and ArcelorMittal,” says Brendan O’Connor, Interlake’s Vice President of Marketing and Marine Traffic. “We recognize the tremendous investment made by Cliffs in producing the Mustang pellet and the understandable excitement from ArcelorMittal to receive this improved and customized raw material.”

Production of the specialized Mustang pellet began in May. Cliffs invested $75 million at its Minnesota operation to support the production with a new storage facility, a limestone crusher, conveyors and rail infrastructure.

Mustang pellets, which will be used for the automotive industry and other markets, contain a higher level of calcium added to dolomite and limestone than the standard taconite pellets.

“We are proud to continue our role in providing best-in-class marine transportation of raw materials from the Head of the Lakes to ArcelorMittal on behalf of Cliffs,” O’Connor says.

Maritime Editorial