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      Cliffs to shut down production at Empire in 2013

      Cliffs Natural Resources has announced that it will temporarily idle production at its Empire Mine operation beginning the second quarter of 2013 in the form of an extended summer shutdown.

      The shut down will impact approximately 500 employees at the mine.

      Full-year 2013 expected sales volumes for U.S. Iron Ore remain unchanged at 19-20 million tons as previously disclosed by the Company.

      Ms. Laurie Brlas, President Global Operations added, "Unfortunately the U.S. Iron Ore production curtailments will affect many of our employees. However, at this time, we believe it is prudent and necessary to match our production volumes with market demand. We will remain operationally flexible to ramp up production volumes throughout the year if the demand increases."

      Cliffs continues to work through its 2013 consolidated business plan and expects to disclose its full-year company-wide assumptions and expectations as part of its fourth-quarter 2012 results. The company's preliminary 2013 capital expenditures are estimated to be in a range of approximately $700-$800 million.

      Cliffs is also curtailing production at its Northshore Mining operation in Minnesota affecting 125 employees.