Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Announces Underground Mining Resumes at Oak Grove Mine Following Severe Weather in Alabama

Cliffs Establishes a Relief Fund and Contributes $200,000 to Assist Local Relief Efforts

CLEVELAND, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) today announced that power has been fully restored and underground mining has resumed at its Oak Grove Mine in Alabama. As previously reported, during the evening of April 27, 2011 the Company's aboveground operations at its Oak Grove Mine were struck by severe weather, including a tornado. The Company also indicated that all of Oak Grove Mine's employees have returned to work. However, due to the significant damage to the mine's preparation plant and overland conveyor system, the Cliffs' operations team continues to evaluate the storm's impact to its aboveground operations. Until this evaluation is complete, Cliffs will stockpile the raw coal until the repairs to the overland conveyor system and preparation plant are completed.

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"Our employees worked diligently to safely restart mining at Oak Grove Mine as quickly as possible," said Duke Vetor, senior vice president of Cliffs' North American Coal operations, "Now our focus is on evaluating the damage to the preparation plant and safely bringing it back into production to meet our customers' needs."

To assist in the recovery, Cliffs has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for tornado relief efforts in the Birmingham area. In addition, Cliffs will also provide $100,000 collectively to various local organizations that are providing basic essentials to victims within Oak Grove Mine's communities. The Company has also established a Relief Fund to which its employees can make contributions in support of local relief efforts.

"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this disaster," Vetor said. "The local communities where we operate are important stakeholders of the Company and we will continue to support organizations that provide assistance to those suffering as a result of this disaster."

Cliffs is currently assessing the damage at its aboveground operations and the related impact to the Company's full-year outlook for its North American Coal business segment. Further information will be communicated as appropriate and available.

About Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. A member of the S&P 500 Index, the Company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high- and low-volatile metallurgical coal. Cliffs' strategy is to continually achieve greater scale and diversification in the mining industry through a focus on serving the world's largest and fastest growing steel markets. Driven by the core values of social, environmental and capital stewardship, Cliffs associates across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency.

The Company is organized through a global commercial group responsible for sales and delivery of Cliffs products and a global operations group responsible for the production of the minerals the Company markets. Cliffs operates iron ore and coal mines in North America and two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia. The Company also has a 45% economic interest in a coking and thermal coal mine in Queensland, Australia. In addition, Cliffs has a major chromite project, in the pre-feasibility stage of development, located in Ontario, Canada.

News releases and other information on the Company are available on the Internet at: or

'Safe Harbor' Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This news release contains predictive statements that are intended to be made as 'forward-looking' within the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although the Company believes that its forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are subject to risk and uncertainties.

Actual results may differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons, including: the uncertainty or weakness in global economic and/or market conditions, including any related impact on prices; trends affecting our financial condition, results of operations or future prospects; the outcome of any contractual disputes with our customers or significant suppliers of energy, materials or services; changes in the sales volumes or mix; the impact of price-adjustment factors on our sales contracts; availability of capital equipment and component parts; the failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the ability of our customers to meet their obligations to us on a timely basis or at all; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the viability of a mine and the carrying value of associated assets; inability to achieve expected production levels; our ability to obtain any permits, approvals, modifications or other authorization of, or from, any governmental or regulatory entity; our actual economic ore reserves; reductions in current resource estimates; impacts of increasing governmental regulation including failure to receive or maintain required environmental permits; the ability to maintain liquidity and successfully implement our financing plans; and problems or uncertainties with productivity, third party contractors, labor disputes, weather conditions, natural disasters, tons mined, changes in cost factors, the supply or price of energy, transportation, mine closure obligations and employee benefit costs and other risks of the mining industry.

Reference is also made to the detailed explanation of the many factors and risks that may cause such predictive statements to turn out differently, set forth in our Annual Report and Reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and previous news releases filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are publicly available on Cliffs Natural Resources' website. The information contained in this document speaks as of the date of this news release and may be superseded by subsequent events.  Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

SOURCE Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.