NEW YORK Cliffs Natural
Resources Inc. will idle its Wabush Pointe Noire pellet plant
in Sept-Îles, Quebec, by the end of the second quarter
due to high production costs and lower pellet premium
The plant has the capacity to
produce 5.6 million tons of iron ore pellets annually.
"Due to the dynamics in the
marketplace, we are taking measures to adjust our iron ore
pellet production at our Wabush operation while continuing to
meet our customer commitments," chairman, president and chief
executive officer Joseph Carrabba said.
"Unfortunately, this decision
will affect about 165 employees. We understand this is a
hardship for our employees and their families. During this
transition we will be working with them, including exploring
other opportunities at Cliffs," he added.
"We are taking a long-term view
of our investment in Canada," Carrabba added. "These measures
address current market conditions, and we look forward to
advancing our work at Bloom Lake, which is key to Cliffs
The Bloom Lake Mine in Fremont,
Quebec, has the capacity to produce 8 million tons of magnetite
and hematite iron ore. Cleveland-based Cliffs has a 75-percent
share in the mine, and Toronto-based Wugang Canada Resources
Investment Ltd. owns the remaining 25 percent.
Cliffs has maintained a
full-year 2013 sales and production volume outlook of 9 million
to 10 million tons for its Eastern Canada Iron Ore business
A version of this article was
first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.