Cliffs halts operations at West Virginia coal mine

Cliffs halts operations at West Virginia coal mine

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) said Wednesday it plans to temporarily idle operations at a West Virginia metallurgical coal mining complex for up to six months unless market conditions improve.

In a regulatory filing, the Cleveland-based firm said it has issued a legally required notice to employees of its Pinnacle Mining Company LLC unit, the United Mine Workers of America and state and local government agencies, giving workers a 60-day heads up of the temporary halt.

Pinnacle, wholly owned by Cliffs, employed a workforce of about 552 at the end of last year. It produced 2.8 million tons of coal in 2013.

Cliffs, which is the US' biggest iron ore producer, has moved to cut expenses in recent months, as it faces pressure from weaker volumes and from activist investor Casablanca Capital LP, which wants to replace Cliffs chief executive and has urged the firm to split its US and international operations.

Image courtesy of  Cliffs Natural Resources