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      Cliffs announces second quarter earnings

      Cliffs Natural Resources announced second quarter results for 2013 on Thursday, showing a decrease in revenue over the previous year.

      The period, which ended on June 30, 2013, was down 6 percent over the previous year, according to Cliffs. The company says that the decline of $1.5 billion is partially due to an 11 percent decrease in global seaborne iron ore pricing to an average of $126 per ton.

      "During the quarter, I'm pleased to report we paid down debt by $110 million and made meaningful progress in lowering our SG&A and exploration expenses," said Joseph Carrabba, Cliffs' president and chief executive officer. "Our U.S. Iron Ore, Asia Pacific Iron Ore, and North American Coal segments once again delivered strong operational performances. Looking at the remainder of the year, we also have a positive outlook for these segments. In Eastern Canadian Iron Ore, the team remains steadfast in their efforts to improve the stability of the operations."

      Cliffs Natural Resources, which owns and operates the Tilden and Empire mines, announced that they plan to permanently shut down the Empire mine sometime in 2014 or 2015.