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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining region after agreeing to sell its chromite assets there to Noront Resources Ltd. for $20 million.

Noront will get about 103 mining claims in the area about 1,000 kilometres northwest of Toronto. The assets include Cliffs’ Black Label and Black Thor chromite deposits and a 70% stake in another deposit called Big Daddy, Toronto- based Noront said in a statement on Monday.

The transaction consolidates the main discoveries made in the Ring of Fire, said Noront Chief Executive Officer Alan Coutts. Before Cliffs halted development work in November 2013, both companies owned the most advanced projects in the region, which was once described as Canada’s most promising mining opportunity in a century.

Cliffs is selling less profitable assets in order to focus on its core business of supplying iron ore to the North American steel industry. The Cleveland-based company in August appointed a new chief executive officer, Lourenco Goncalves, after an activist investor led a boardroom coup. In January, Cliffs sought creditor protection for its shuttered Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec, after efforts to sell the operation failed.

Moelis & Co. was Cliffs’ financial adviser on the Noront deal, the mining company said in a separate statement.




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