By Pierre Bertrand

 

ArcelorMittal confirmed that it signed a preliminary agreement for a transaction to transfer its operations in Kazakhstan to the government days before a fatal incident at the Kostenco coal mine on Saturday.

The Luxembourg-based steelmaker said in a statement Saturday that it is "committed to completing this transaction as soon as possible in order to minimize disruption to the greatest extent possible."

In a separate statement on Sunday, ArcelorMittal Temirtau, the ArceloMittal company operating in Kazakhstan, said negotiations on the transfer of the company back to the government had been taking place for several months.

The subsidiary said the agreement-in-principle was signed only days before Saturday's explosion. The incident, which claimed the lives of dozens of miners, was the latest to affect the company's operations in the country.

A fire at the company's Kazakhstanskaya mine claimed five lives in August and in November 2022, a suspected gas leak and explosion killed five at its Lenin coal mine.

 

Write to Pierre Bertrand at pierre.bertrand@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2023 03:48 ET (07:48 GMT)

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