Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited to acquire all of Consolidated Thompson's common shares for approximately $4.9 billion (Canadian). This acquisition, which is expected to enhance Cliffs’ profile as one of the largest mining and natural resources companies in North America, would position the company to produce up to 30 million metric tons of iron ore pellets, 16 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate, and 11 million metric tons of lump and fines annually. Cliffs’ current North American business unit comprises six iron ore mines owned or managed in Michigan, Minnesota and Canada and six coal mines located in West Virginia and Alabama.
Upon consummation of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, Cliffs' global mine portfolio will include 10 iron ore facilities, six coal mines and a pre-feasibility chrome-development project across North America, South America and Australia. Consolidated Thompson currently operates in the iron ore-rich area spanning northeastern Quebec, western Newfoundland and Labrador. The company’s producing operations are currently ramping to an annualized production rate of 8 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate, with an expansion in progress that is expected to double the company's annualized production.