Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
) affiliate Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc., has announced its
decision to discontinue all developmental activities indefinitely
at its Chromite Project. The project, located in the "Ring of
Fire" region of Northern Ontario, will be suspended by the end of
fourth-quarter 2013. Further, the project's uncertain timeline
and risks associated with the development of infrastructure led
the company to decide against investing any additional
Cliffs, in June 2013, temporarily suspended environmental
assessment activities for the Chromite project due to certain
unresolved issues. These included delayed approval of certain
terms for the provincial Environmental Assessment (EA) process,
unresolved land surface rights, unfinished agreements with the
Government of Ontario and uncertainty regarding the federal EA
process. The federal EA process remains uncertain due to current
judicial challenges by some First Nations.
Based on the project's indefinite suspension, Cliffs further
decided to reduce the project team staffing and dissolve the
Thunder Bay and Toronto and the exploration camp site. The
company assured its employees that it will provide them with
other opportunities to continue working at Cliffs.
Technical work including feasibility study, development and
exploration activities and the EA activities will be stopped and
no fixed time period has been scheduled to resume the activities.
In the meantime, Cliffs, together with the Government of Ontario,
First Nation communities and other interested parties will
continue to explore potential solutions for resolving the
critical issue of infrastructure for the Ring of Fire region.
Cliffs also supports the Province's plan for a Development
Corporation structure for financing and development of
infrastructure, and intends to engage in future discussions
related to it.
Cliffs is an international mining and natural resources
company, a major global iron ore producer and a significant
producer of high- and low-volatile metallurgical coal.
Cliffs released its third-quarter 2013 results on Oct 24. The
company posted earnings from continuing operations of 65 cents
per share, up 6.6% from 61 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Consolidated net income was $104.3 million (or 66 cents per
share) versus a profit of $85.1 million (or 59 cents) registered
in the year-ago quarter, up roughly 23% year over year.
Cost-cutting measures by the company and higher iron ore prices
contributed to the increase in profit.
Sales for the quarter came in at $1,546.6 million, rising 0.1%
from $1,544.9 million in the prior-year quarter. A 17% hike in
global seaborne iron ore pricing led to increased sales in the
Cliffs expects healthy pace of steelmaking in China to support
demand for its iron ore across the Eastern Canada and Asia
Pacific businesses. The company predicts healthy demand for U.S.
ore and North American coal despite weak steel production in
North America. It anticipates pricing of its commodities to
Cliffs currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other companies in the mining industry with favorable Zacks
Rio Tinto plc
Alderon Iron Ore Corp.
). While Rio Tinto holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Vale
and Alderon Iron Ore carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ALDERON IRON (AXX): Free Stock Analysis
CLIFFS NATURAL (CLF): Free Stock Analysis
RIO TINTO-ADR (RIO): Free Stock Analysis
VALE SA (VALE): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.