CLEVELAND – MINING – Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Gary B. Halverson, 55, formerly president and chief operating officer, to president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. He also serves as a director on Cliffs’ Board.
James Kirsch, Cliffs’ chairman of the Board, said, “We are confident that Gary is the right candidate to lead Cliffs given his proven experience with international and long-term mining operations and understanding of the global commodities industry. Since joining Cliffs, Gary has executed a number of key strategic initiatives to strengthen the Company and enhance value for all Cliffs’ shareholders.”
A number of Mr. Halverson’s key strategic initiatives include:
· taking action to optimize performance, cut costs and extract shareholder value from the Bloom Lake asset;
· announcing a $90 million reduction in expected 2014 SG&A and exploration spending;
· reducing 2014 capital expenditures significantly from 2013 year-over-year;
· performing global asset review and interactions with key customers;
· halting development of the Chromite Project indefinitely;
· conducting organizational review and management restructuring, and;
· idling the Wabush Mine in the first quarter of 2014.
“I am very honored to take the helm and lead Cliffs, a company with such a rich heritage and even greater prospects for the future,” stated Gary Halverson, president and chief executive officer. “I am focused on operational excellence and financial discipline in order to reposition the Company for success. We have an extraordinary senior team at Cliffs that is committed to driving success for the Company. Collectively, I am confident that we will create long-term value for our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”
Mr. Halverson’s experience spans across the gold, copper, and nickel mining industries. Prior to joining Cliffs in 2013, he provided leadership for the largest gold region in the world at Barrick Gold Corporation Inc. He has experience managing large annual operating budgets and capital projects. At an operational level, he has been successful in optimizing well run mines, objectively assessing troubled operations and executing projects on-time and on budget. Many of the projects he has led included complex tailings and water management issues. These experiences include a wide range of underground and open-pit mines from the construction and development phases through the end-of-life stage.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will host a quarterly earnings conference call tomorrow, Feb. 14, 2014, at 10 a.m. ET. The call will be broadcast live and archived on Cliffs’ website: www.cliffsnaturalresources.com.