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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cliffs looks to Asia with Consolidated iron ore bid, (NYSE: CLF), (TSE: CLM)

Cliffs Natural Resources's (CLF.N) C$4.07 billion ($4.1 billion) acquisition of Canada's Consolidated Thompson (CLM.TO) will give the U.S.-based miner a foot in the door with Chinese buyers as it looks to boost sales to Asia. Iron ore, a key ingredient in steelmaking, is in high demand as the urban populations of countries such as China and India grow rapidly, boosting demand for steel in high-rise construction and other industries. "One of the advantages that Cliffs' sees through this deal is that they will be able to broaden their customer base a little bit and diversify into the Asian markets," said Raymond James analyst Adam Low, noting that the company currently ships most of its North American production within North America.