NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. rose Monday on news that the mining company reached a deal on a labor pact with a major union at one of its Canadian mines.
THE SPARK: Cliffs said late Friday that it reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers Union for a new three-year labor contract. The deal would cover about 300 represented workers at Cliffs' Bloom Lake mine in Fermont, Quebec.
The deal must still be by ratified by the union's workers. Cliffs didn't release any other details.
THE BIG PICTURE: Over the past year, the Cleveland-based company has been hit hard by a sharp decline in iron ore prices.
Cliffs said in April that its first-quarter profit plunged more than 70 percent from the prior year, reflecting charges totaling $2 billion related to the troubled market. That followed a loss for all of 2012 of $899.4 million.
In the past year, Cliffs has also closed or cut production at mines in the U.S., slowed the expansion of another in Canada and sold off other assets. It also slashed its quarterly dividend and sold new shares to raise funds to repay debt.
Since the beginning of this year, Cliffs' shares have lost about 47 percent of their value.
THE SHARES: Up 91 cents, or 4 percent, to $21.48 after peaking at $21.76 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $15.41 and $46.83.