Officials at Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. have announced they are pursuing exit options for iron ore operations in eastern Canada, including possible closure of the Bloom Lake project, where viability is pending a second $1.2 billion phase.

“Despite interest in Bloom Lake and its high-quality ore, investment is not achievable within time acceptable to Cliffs,” CEO Lourenco Goncalves said. “We have shifted to an exit option for eastern Canadian operations that minimizes cash outflows;” closure is forecast to cost up to $700 million through 2019.