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Cliffs Natural Resources Closer To Locating Partners For Quebec Mine

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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF) may be getting close to obtaining partners for a troubled Bloom Lake iron mine in Quebec.

Chief Executive Lourenco C. Goncalves told investors earlier this week the company is in "active discussions" with three unnamed potential partners that would help with the roughly $1.95 billion required to double operations there and restart its profits.

Dow Jones reported Friday that Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) and two Japanese steel companies it didn't name are the potential partners.

Cliffs jumped 9 percent Friday, trading recently at $11.46 per share.

Goncalves said that together with existing partner Wuhan Iron Ore & Steel Co., the four minority equity holders would absorb the entire production of the Bloom Lake mine.

"We have a goal of securing commitments before the end of 2014," Gonclaves said, adding that without the equity infusion, Cliffs would close the operation.

With the cash infusion in place, Goncalves said the mine would produce 13.5 million tons of high quality iron ore at a relatively low cost.

"This would be truly outstanding. And with this cost profile and equity fusion, we would surely want to continue to want and operate that," Goncalves said.

The company continues with plans to sell iron mines in Australia along with its Applachia coal mines and focus on five iron mines in Michigan and Minnesota.

Cliffs announced a $6 billion write-down October 17 for the impairment of assets that included the Bloom Lake mine.

Posted-In: News Rumors Financing Intraday Update


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