Cliffs Natural Resources

Basin Engineer

Location: Multiple Locations
Country: United States
Job Code: 2997
Position Type: Salary


About Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

Founded in 1847, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the United States. We are a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from our mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. By 2020, Cliffs expects to be the sole producer of hot briquetted iron (HBI) in the Great Lakes region with the development of its first production plant in Toledo, OH. Driven by the core values of safety, social, environmental and capital stewardship, our employees endeavor to provide all stakeholders with operating and financial transparency. For more information, visit

Thank you for your interest in exploring a career opportunity with Cleveland-Cliffs. Our Career site is updated daily with new opportunities, so please check back often.



Summary of Principal Functions:

Oversight of all tailings basin dam safety activities including basin planning, geotechnical monitoring, management, and operation of Cliff's tailings storage basins. This also includes various fresh water retention structures and related appurtenant hydraulic outlet works.  The position will work with site tailings basin engineer (& technical staff) and integrate with internal departments along with engineering consultants or contractors as required. The Basin Engineer’s home location may be flexible with potential base sites in Forbes, MN, Silver Bay, MN or Ishpeming, MI.


Key Responsibilities:

·        Assist in the geotechnical planning, design, and construction of large earthwork structures and infrastructure systems for mine tailings basin slurry disposal and containment.

·        Review and/or preparation of short and long range planning for tailings impoundment disposal and construction activities.

·        Participates in the preparation of maintenance / operation manuals and general technical guidelines for dam safety.

·        Collection and systematic reporting of site operating metrics related to operations and project instrumentation.

·        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 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

·        Review and participation in design & operational performance audits of site operational mine tailings basin 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.

·        Oversight of field construction based upon developed computer aided design drawings using digital aerial mapping data 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 basin 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 related projects such as wetlands, water balance, surveys, & audits.

·        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 the site.

·        Participate or lead tailings basin projects related to environmental compliance and improvement activities.

·       Have the ability to interact and perceive the needs of others, develop smooth relationships, and deal effectively with conflict.  Helps to develop consensus on complex issues

·        Ability to travel to multiple regional mining sites and periodic administration staff meetings as required.


Required Education:                           

·   Bachelor’s degree in Civil or Geological Engineering from an accredited institution is required.


Required Experience:

  • 2 to 5 years of professional experience related to Geotechnical /Soils Engineering is preferred.

  • Strong familiarity with geotechnical principals and associated soils software analysis

  • Demonstrated project management experience with an emphasis on civil and earthwork projects

  • General knowledge within the use of spreadsheets, word processing, and presentation preparation & delivery.

  • Sound written and oral communication skills along with adaptability to changing work environments.

  • Knowledge and interest in Civil-Geotechnical work, earthwork construction, surveying with GPS, and data integration.

  • Strong technical skills and knowledge and/or ability to grasp concepts of mine tailings facilities including: tailings basin operation, water balance, dam construction, instrumentation monitoring, and water & slurry pumping concepts.

  • Registered Professional Engineer (PE) or Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certificate until required experience is gained for PE.

  • Exploration field drilling, soil investigation, and report review/ preparation/ logging preferred.

  • Civil-3D or similar 3D cad mapping/volumetric software experience or knowledge preferred.

  • Concepts knowledge and/or experience in field surveying using traditional and/or GPS with data collection is a plus.

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