The provincial government has been notified by Cliffs Natural Resources of the company's plans to officially close Wabush Mines in Labrador.

"We have all known for some time that the closure of the mine in Wabush was a possibility. However, this does not make it any easier for the workers of the mine and their families, as well as residents in the Labrador West area," Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said in a statement on Friday. 

"Our government is aware of this and will continue to support those impacted."

Dalley said government will ensure Cliffs follows provincial legislation, and has a closure and rehabilitation plan in place.

In February, the company idled operations at the site, citing the rising cost of production at the iron ore mine.

MFC Industrial was in talks with Cliffs about the potential sale of the mine, but a spokesperson with MFC told CBC News discussions had been terminated earlier in October.

Roughly 500 workers employed at the site will be affected. Of the 50 employees still currently working at the mine, Cliffs said that number will be reduced to 10 before the end of the year.

With files from Chris Ensing