Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Increases Production and Sales Volume Expectations for North American Business Unit

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) today announced increased production and sales volume expectations in its North American Business Unit, which includes its North American Iron Ore and North American Coal business segments.

North American Iron Ore
Cliffs now expects its North American Iron Ore business segment to recognize sales volume of approximately 16 million long tons in 2009, an increase from the Company's previous expectation of 13 million to 14 million tons. In addition, Cliffs expects to collect cash for approximately 3 million tons of "bill and hold" sales in 2009. These "bill and hold" sales are unlikely to meet revenue recognition requirements. This new expectation compares with a previous expectation of 3 million to 4 million tons of "bill and hold" sales. North American Iron Ore equity production volume in 2009 is expected to be 17 million tons, up from a previous expectation of 15 million tons.

North American Coal
Cliffs also raised its 2009 expected sales volume for its North American Coal business segment to approximately 1.8 million short tons, from a previous expectation of 1.5 million tons. North American Coal production volume is expected to be 1.8 million tons, up from a previous expectation of 1.3 million tons.

Donald J. Gallagher, president of Cliffs' North American business unit, said, "As our customers are increasing steel production and restarting blast furnaces in North America and Europe, we are seeing modest improvements in orders and in market expectations for steelmaking raw materials. We will continue to monitor the markets closely to ensure we adjust production appropriately to meet demand as needed."

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About Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) is an international mining and natural resources company. We are the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America, a major supplier of direct-shipping lump and fines iron ore out of Australia and a significant producer of metallurgical coal. With core values of environmental and capital stewardship, our colleagues across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency as embodied in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Our Company is organized through three geographic business units:

The North American business unit is comprised of six iron ore mines owned or managed in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada, and two coking coal mining complexes located in West Virginia and Alabama. The Asia Pacific business unit is comprised of two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia and a 45% economic interest in a coking and thermal coal mine in Queensland, Australia. The South American business unit includes a 30% interest in the Amapa Project, an iron ore project in the state of Amapa in Brazil.

Over recent years, Cliffs has been executing a strategy designed to achieve scale in the mining industry and focused on serving the world's largest and fastest growing steel markets.

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 we believe that our 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 impact of the global economic crisis on the North American and global integrated steel industry; the length and extent of any potential and current production curtailments at both our customer's facility and at our iron ore and coal mining operations; changes in the sales volumes or mix; the impact of decreases in international prices for iron ore and/or metallurgical coal resulting from the global economic crisis; the impact of price-adjustment factors on our sales contracts; changes in demand for iron ore pellets and metallurgical coal by North American integrated steel producers, or changes in Asian iron ore and metallurgical coal demand due to changes in steel utilization rates, operational factors, electric furnace production or imports into the United States and Canada of semi-finished steel or pig iron; the impact of consolidation and rationalization in the steel industry; availability of capital equipment and component parts; availability of float capacity; the impact of the global economic crisis on the availability and cost of capital, our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and on our ability to access the capital markets; changes in the financial condition of the Company's partners and/or customers; rejection of major contracts and/or venture agreements by customers and/or participants under provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or similar statutes in other countries; 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; reductions in current resource estimates; the investment performance of our pension and other postretirement benefit plans, which could increase our plan costs; impacts of increasing governmental regulation including failure to receive or maintain required environmental permits; problems with productivity, third party contractors, labor disputes, weather conditions, fluctuations in ore grade, tons mined, changes in cost factors including energy costs, transportation, mine closure obligations and employee benefit costs; the ability to identify, acquire and integrate strategic acquisition candidates; risks associated with operations in multiple countries; and the effect of these various risks on our future cash flows, debt levels, liquidity and financial position.

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 on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on 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.

    Source: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.