Severstal , Russia's largest steelmaker, has put some of its loss-making U.S. mills for sale, several sources told American Metal Market in an article posted on its website.

The report stated that Severstal is looking to sell operations in Warren, Ohio, in Sparrows Point, Maryland and in Wheeling, West Virginia and that it has sent information packets about the operations to a range of steel majors.

Severstal said it does not comment on rumors and speculation when contacted by Reuters.

In the past, the company has said it is evaluating a range of options for its U.S. operations. It has said it is committed to operating in North American and would retain its most efficient units.

The report said that Severstal has sent information on the plants to potential equity investors and steelmakers including Brazil's Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), Gerdau , and U.S. Steel .

Severstal is one of several Russian companies that had spent heavily to acquire assets in North America prior to the downturn in 2008.

It spent more than $2.8 billion on a range of plants to become the fourth-largest integrated steel maker in the U.S.

Weak demand forced it to idle many of these operations, though some of these have since been restarted.

However, in June the company said it would idle primary steelmaking facilities at the Sparrows Point mill because of weak demand.

Analysts noted that Severstal may struggle to find buyers for the assets.

While we are skeptical about Severstal's ability to find buyers for its U.S. assets fairly soon, we view this development as a positive change in Severstal's strategy, given that its U.S. operations generated around $1 billion losses in 2009 and are likely to remain loss-making over the long-term, analysts at Uralsib wrote in a note.

Should it divest the assets, Severstal will still operate facilities in Dearborn, Michigan and Columbia, Mississippi.

(Reporting by Alfred Kueppers; Editing by Hans Peters)