Spokesperson Patricia Persico confirmed October 29 that the company is rolling out a new operating plan for its North American Coal arm, noting that it will “aggressively lower costs and drive a drastic improvement in its near-term financial performance” with the initiative.

While Cliffs remains committed to the sale of its coal assets, it is taking necessary measures to lower operating and capital costs for the mines,” she said.

Cliffs did not indicate in its statement how many workers would be affected at Pinnacle, which is located in Wyoming County. However, local Alabama media have reported that about 220 will be sliced at Oak Grove.

“Cliffs has notified the union at both sites and all employees about the new operating plan, staffing implications and how labor will be realigned,” Persico said. “Cliffs will make every effort to support its employees during this transition.”

The producer will continue to meet its committed customer orders into 2016.

The Oak Grove longwall mine produced 2.27 million tons of high quality, low-vol met coal in 2013 from the prolific Blue Creek seam. The Pinnacle longwall complex produces the same product, and produced 2.8 million tons from production from the Pocahontas 3 seam during the same period.