Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF) jumped as much as 11% today after Canada's Economy Minister said his country may help bail out a failed mine owned by Cliffs.
So what: Minister Jacques Daoust said that Canada may help facilitate the purchase of the Bloom Lake mine and outright buy an associated rail and port facility to get the mine up and running again. In an interview with Bloomberg he said that Canada is willing to buy the infrastructure assets and even up to 20% of the mine, although it's unclear whether Cliffs Natural could maintain control or would have to sell the mine to other operators.
Canada is getting involved because the mine is located in the Cote-Nord region of Canada. The region has been particularly hard hit by the drop in commodity prices and has a nearly 11% unemployment rate. Over 600 people worked at the Bloom Lake mine when it last operated in January.
Now what: The potential of a bailout or sale of the Bloom Lake mine could be good news for Cliffs Natural Resources, although we don't know exactly what the terms of any transaction would be. It's also unclear if the $20 per ton cost savings Daoust says Canada could save the mine by owning infrastructure would be enough to make it economically viable with iron ore prices down nearly $140 per ton in the last four years.
While this news may be an incremental positive for Cliffs Natural Resources, there are a lot of unknowns about any asset sale and the company still just reported a $773 million loss with little hope that profits will return anytime soon. Even the prospect of an asset sale isn't enough to get me to buy this stock today.