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Cliffs Natural Resources

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Basin Engineer

Job ID 5208090 Date posted 07/25/2017
Location:Multiple Locations
Country:United States
Job Code:2517
Position Type:Salary

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. The Company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high-and low-volatile metallurgical coal. Cliffs' strategy is to continually achieve greater scale and diversification in the mining industry through a focus on serving the world's largest and fastest growing steel markets. Driven by the core values of social, environmental and capital stewardship, Cliffs associates across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency.

The Company is organized through a global commercial group responsible for sales and delivery of Cliffs' products and a global operations group responsible for the production of the minerals the Company markets. Cliffs operates iron ore and coal mines in North America and an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia.



This position requires direct involvement in the oversight of all tailings basin dam safety activities including basin planning, geotechnical monitoring, management, and operation of all Cliffs USIO tailings storage basins. This also includes various fresh water retention structures and related appurtenant hydraulic outlet works. The position will work with the each sites tailings basin engineer (& technical staff) and integrate with engineering consultants/ contractors as required.


  • Involvement in the geotechnical planning, design, and construction of large earthwork structures and systems for basin tailings slurry disposal and containment.
  • Review and/or preparation of short and long range planning for tailings disposal and construction activities.
  • Participates in the preparation of maintenance / operation manuals and general technical guidelines for dam safety.
  • Participation on site tailings project teams including major tailings basin expansion projects.
  • Involvement in the review, design and implementation of various geotechnical monitoring activities at the USIO sites including drilling programs, inclinometers, piezometers, seepage monitoring, etc.
  • Maintenance of USIO tailings basin documentation (design, engineering, construction, and regulatory documentation) and data in a consistent, timely, and orderly fashion in the specified electronic (or physical) repository currently being the technical group file server.
  • Review and participation in design & operational performance audits of USIO operational mine tailings basin and related physical infrastructure.
  • Operations water balance monitoring/assessment of ponds, reservoirs, and associated hydraulic works.
  • Construction management assistance related to basin earthwork projects including computer aided design, survey alignments, construction survey, earthwork volumes, payment volumes, geotechnical monitoring, project budgeting & cost forecasting, and contract administration assistance as required.
  • Oversight of field construction based upon developed computer aided design drawings using photogrammetric digital aerial mapping and/or digital photo imagery.
  • Review construction and geotechnical investigative drilling reports and supporting documentation.
  • Participate, prepare and/or execute periodic Probable Failure Mode Analyses (PMFA) of USIO basins and water retention structures.
  • Participate, prepare and/or execute periodic drills related to tailings basin Emergency Action Plans.
  • Assist in design reviews and/or field implementations of USIO wetlands projects.
  • Prepare timely and accurate reports for various geotechnical projects including the development of project schedules and progress reports.
  • Explore latest technologies / best practices related to tailings basins and evaluate their suitability for USIO Operations.
  • Participate or lead tailings basin projects related to environmental compliance and improvement activities.
  • Ability to travel to all USIO mine sites in Michigan and Minnesota along with other travel for technical training and conferences as required. Provide assistance to business units & corporate functions as requested.
  • Consistently demonstrate and act in accordance with Cliffs’ Core Values: Safe Production; Customer Focus; Creating Economic Value; Bias for Action; Trust, Respect, and Open Communication; Group and Individual Accountability; Integrity; Teamwork; Recognize and Reward Achievement; and Environmental Stewardship


  • Bachelor’s degree in Geological or Civil Engineering is required.
  • 2 to 5 years of professional experience related to Geotechnical Engineering and Hydrogeology is preferred.
  • Registered Professional Engineer (PE) or Engineer-in Training (EIT) certificate until required experience is obtained for PE
  • Strong technical skills and understanding of tailings facilities including: tailings basin operation, water balance, dam construction, and monitoring.
  • Strong familiarity with geotechnical principals.
  • Knowledge of regulations applicable to management of tailings facilities and mine site operations.
  • Knowledge and experience with computer software related to Civil and Geotechnical applications.
  • Demonstrated technical report writing and strong verbal communications skills.
  • Demonstrated project management experience with emphasis on civil and earthwork projects.


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C&E Awards

The U.S. Talent Acquisition team was awarded a 2012 Candidate Experience Award by the Talent Board. The Talent Board is a non-profit organization that showcases employers who deliver outstanding candidate experiences. This is the second year in a row that Cliffs has earned this award, which is based on feedback directly from our job candidates. Cliffs is the only Natural Resources company to receive this award.

2012 Candidate Experience Award Learn More

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