Cliffs Halts Output at Tornado-Damaged Alabama Coking-Coal Mine

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF), North America’s largest iron-ore producer, halted output at its Oak Grove coking-coal mine in Alabama after a tornado damaged equipment.

Oak Grove, located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Birmingham, produced about 887,000 tons of coal used in steelmaking in 2009, according to Cliff’s website.

Alabama was the hardest-hit among southern states affected by severe weather that killed at least 280 people and left up to 1 million without electricity. A tornado struck Oak Grove late April 27, Pat Persico, a spokeswoman for Cleveland-based Cliffs, said by telephone today.

“Until power is restored in that region we cannot operate that facility,” Persico said.

About 300 people work at the mine, she said. None was injured, while “significant damage” to the mine’s above-ground facilities will affect deliveries, Cliffs said yesterday in a statement.

Cliffs fell $2.87, or 3 percent, to $93.72 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Sonja Elmquist at Selmquist1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.

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