Iron ore mining company Cliffs Natural Resources has started production of the new Mustang superflux pellet from its United Taconite mine in the US. 

According to the company, the start-up of the new production equipment was achieved on schedule after nine months of construction, within its original budget of $75m. 

Cliffs Natural Resources chairman, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said: “As we have done time and time again, Cliffs has confirmed why we have been in the iron range for so many years, and why we have earned the right to continue to be in the range for the years to come.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility at United Taconite will be held on 30 May.

The investment was used to build a new storage facility, silos, a limestone crusher, conveyors, and rail infrastructure to support production of the Mustang pellet.

"The project implementation involved an estimated 200,000 labour hours."

The ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held in August last year, while the project implementation involved an estimated 200,000 labour hours, which was achieved without any lost time.  

During peak construction, the Mustang project employed 120 people, including management, craft, and labour.

Established in 1847 and based in the US, Cliffs Natural Resources is a mining and natural resources company focused on independent iron ore mining. It supplies iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from its mines and pellet plants based in Michigan and Minnesota. 

In addition, Cliffs also operates an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia.