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Foundry Daily News

12. May 2010

ArcelorMittal SA may review disputed supply contract with Kumba

Bloomberg quoted Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi Heita CEO of ArcelorMittal SA as saying that the disputed supply contract with Kumba Iron Ore Limited is boiling.

She said that "We are going to assess at the end of quarter two. The reason why it’s fairly difficult to be crisp about it now is that steel prices are rising. If they rise sufficiently high, then your threat moves a little. There's no question that as costs rise, you have to look at the business from the bottom up and decide what is still comfortable and you can retain, and what is not and you must curb."

She added that "That is an ongoing probe. While they continue with the probe, we will continue to engage with the department. We are keeping a dialogue and we are not in open negotiation."

On the South African Trade Ministry's concerns about a surcharge on steel products, she said that "We maintain a reasonably ongoing dialogue with the Department of Trade and Industry. They are justifiably concerned about some things and we share those concerns, but how you manage that becomes an issue. The department did two things. They issued a detailed and frank public discussion about their concerns. They also raised a complaint with the Competition Commission to probe ArcelorMittal for abuse of dominance, which I think is a very strong reaction from the government."

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