Cliffs Natural Resources may delay its goal for production from the Ring of Fire by yet another year.

The chromite project’s original target of 2015 was changed to 2016 — but CEO Joseph Carrabba recently told investors it could be 2017.

Cliffs’ director of global communications, Pat Persico, told CBC News in an e-mail the company is "officially … working toward the end of 2016, but this could push the production target date beyond 2017."

"Despite the significant potential this project has for the company's future, we are reviewing this project's timeline," Persico said.

"This includes delaying the major capital spending outlays. We still expect to complete the feasibility stage of development and environmental assessment by next year."

Once that is completed, the company said it will look at industry conditions, as well as its cash position and outlook before deciding to move forward with the project.

"In the meantime we will explore the option to take on a partner," Persico added.

"And we will continue to develop our relationship with the province of Ontario."