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Cliffs Natural Resources To Idle Three Iron Ore Pellet Furnaces
= At two iron ore mines in Minnesota =
Global mining and natural resources company Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (formerly Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc) announced October 29 that it has initiated production curtailments at two of its six North American Iron Ore mines.

Cliffs indicated that the curtailments were necessary to bring production levels in line with demand. Cliffs will temporarily idle two small pellet furnaces at Northshore Mining and one small pellet furnace at United Taconite, both located in Minnesota. On a combined basis, the three furnaces have monthly pellet production capacity of approximately 300,000 tons.

Donald J. Gallagher, president of Cliff's North American Business Unit, said, "We have seen the steel market soften in recent weeks due to the slowdown in the North American economy. Today, the domestic steel and iron ore industries are better positioned than in the past to weather downturns such as this, and while we regret having to take this action, production and demand must be balanced to meet customer needs and to ensure the continued health of the business."

The idling of the furnaces will begin immediately and result in workforce adjustments at the locations.

Cliffs indicated its Northshore Mining and United Taconite operations have the capacity to produce nearly 6 million tons (Mt) and 5.5 Mt, respectively, of iron ore pellets per year.

As a result of the curtailment, Cliff's expects 2008 equity production in its North American Iron Ore unit of approximately 23 Mt.
last modified : Wed 05 Nov, 2008 [10:18]
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