Union employees at Wabush Mines have told CBC News they've agreed to a 5-year contract on Thursday to work for MFC Industrial if the company ends up purchasing the idled iron-ore operation.

According to some members of the United Steelworkers Union, workers voted 87 per cent in favour of the deal.

Earlier this week, Cliffs Natural Resources confirmed it was in talks with MFC Industrial about the potential sale of the iron ore mine, which it idled in February.

Jason Penney, USW Local 6285 president, said union members are happy that progress is being made, but there's no done deal in sight just yet.

"MFC's hoping that if the deal's concluded that we go back and work together as a team and that we have a workforce that's going to be happy and it's going to be productive," said Penney.

"The only role that we're playing right now is, again, that MFC wants to ensure that they have a workforce that's going to be engaged, that's going to be a partner and a team approach in order to make [the mine] viable."

Penney added while about half the workers left without jobs when the mine shut down have found work, things have been hard for the remainder, who are excited about the possibility of the operation resuming.

In February, U.S.-based Cliffs determined costs of the operation had become unsustainably high.

A sale of the mine has yet to be confirmed.