(Northland's NewsCenter)---Cliffs Natural Resources, an international mining company says 2011 was a good year and they're looking to an even better year in 2012.
The fortune 500 company hosted its annual breakfast for Range community leaders in Virginia, Thursday.
Cliffs Natural Resources saw record breaking financial results in 2011, increasing its revenues by more than $2 billion and generating $6.8 billion in revenue.
"We have a very positive outlook on the year," Kelly Tompkins, Executive Vice President of Legal, Government Affairs and Sustainability said. "We are going to continue to watch pricing, you know we have to do that, but we're very positive about the year."
Sale trends show North America is a strong and stable market.
In 2011 the company sold about 41 million tons of iron ore.
With production increasing from a new $5 billion world-class iron ore operation in eastern Canada, production and sales are expected to increase to 47 million tons in 2012.
The company expects to export one to three million tons of Minnesota's iron ore pellets overseas.
"We are diversifying as we see the big growth coming out of developing nations, China in particular," Donald Gallagher, Executive Vice President and President of Global Commercial said.
Mining officials say the technical expertise and knowledge of iron ore mining from the regions skilled workers will continue to expand partnerships with steel companies globally.
"Our technical capability to take a lower grade iron ore and make it a higher quality grade is something we are good at," Tompkins said. "I think that represents some good potential in the future."
Cliffs is also proud of the fact that the rate of on the job injuries at its companies dropped by 15 percent with zero deaths reported in 2011.
Cliff's Natural Resources sat at number seven on "Barron's 500" America's Top Companies List in 2011.