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TORONTO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Iron ore and coal miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc has become the third major U.S. company in the last six months to seek creditor protection for its Canadian arm, in an attempt to isolate losses and protect its shareholders.
The miner said Bloom Lake General Partner Ltd and some of its affiliates, including Cliffs Quebec Iron Mining, commenced restructuring proceedings in Montreal, Quebec, on Tuesday.
The move mirrors the route taken by U.S. Steel, which sought creditor protection for its money-losing Canadian operations in September and U.S. discount retailer Target Corp that recently took similar steps.
The long-anticipated move by Cliffs helps insulate the publicly listed U.S. parent company from the vast majority of the $650 million to $700 million in closure costs tied to its mothballed assets in Canada. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Alan Crosby)