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Cliffs continues to suffer from low prices and high costs

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World Coal,

North American iron ore and coal mine, Cliffs Natural Resources, has reported its Q3 results with revenues down US$248 million on the same period last year. A 32% drop in prices for its iron ore and a 17% drop in metallurgical coal prices were the primary drivers for the decline in revenues, the company said in a statement. EBITDA dropped to US$233 million from US$582.9 million in 2013.

North American coal sales totaled 1.9 million t for the quarter – up 15% on last year driven by increased low-volatile metallurgical coal export sales and additional spot sales, higher thermal sales and increased high-volatile metallurgical coal sales as a result of a new export relationship. EBITDA for the coal business was US$6.1 million for the quarter – but the over the year as a whole, the coal business is currently operative at a loss of US$32.2 million.

The company maintained its full-year sales and production target of 7 million short t with a sales mix expected to comprise 70% low-volatile metallurgical coal, 20% high-volatile metallurgical coal and 10% thermal coal. It has, however, dropped its full-year cost expectation to US$80 – 85/short – down from US$85 – 90/short t but still above its expected revenues-per-short-ton of US$75 – 80.

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