Iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) announced this morning that the company's lead director is resigning his position effective immediately.

Frank McAllister, who has served on Cliffs' board since 1996, last week announced his retirement as CEO of Stillwater Mining, the only U.S.-based producer of palladium and platinum and the largest primary producer of platinum group metals outside of South Africa and the Russian Federation, according to the Cliffs press release.

Cliffs Natural Resources Chairman, President, and CEO Joseph Carrabba said: "Frank's industry knowledge and commitment to sustainable mining have been a tremendous asset to Cliffs. His experience, sage advice, and diplomatic skills enhanced the quality of our Board deliberations; his presence in the Board room will be missed."

The board of directors said it has elected James F. Kirsch, former chairman, president, and CEO of Ferro, to take over McAllister's role as lead director beginning with its July 2013 board meeting. Kirsch was elected to the Cliffs board of directors in 2010 and currently serves on two board committees, compensation and organization, and governance and nominating.

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