The Mather Mine near Ishpeming was operated by the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. It was the last underground iron mine operating in Michigan and finally closed in 1979. Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company was formed with the merger of two major iron mining companies on Michigan's Marquette Range in 1891. The Company had a number of mines operating in the Upper Peninsula by the outbreak of World War I. By the 1940s the high grade iron ores mined underground were becoming depleted. The Company developed a process to concentrate low grade ores into iron ore pellets in the 1950s, and C.C.I.C's last underground iron mine closed in 1979.
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