By Associated Press - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PINEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to temporarily idle its Pinnacle underground mine in southern West Virginia.

In a regulatory filing, Cleveland-based Cliffs attributes the decision to poor market conditions for metallurgical coal.

Cliffs says in its Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the mine would be idled around Aug. 25 if market conditions don’t improve. The mine’s idling could last more than six months.

Pinnacle spokeswoman Patricia Persico says 397 hourly employees would be laid off if the mine is idled.

Located in Pineville, the mine produced 2.8 million tons of met coal in 2013. It employs about 575 workers.

Cliffs says it has issued 60-day notices to workers at the mine, the United Mine Workers of America and state and local government agencies.

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