Kumba, Mittal Steel in arbitration over iron-ore plan

Kumba, Mittal Steel in arbitration over iron-ore plan

Anglo American plc`s Kumba Iron Ore Ltd is in dispute with Mittal Steel South African Ltd over a plan to expand the mining company`s biggest iron-ore operation.

The dispute centres on the Sishen mine in South Africa`s Northern Cape region, the company said in a statement in its annual report on Wednesday, without elaborating.

Mittal`s position is a “possible hindrance to the speedy completion of our expansion program,” Ras Myburgh, chief executive officer of Pretoria, South Africa-based Kumba, said in the statement. “We are currently in arbitration with this company.”

Mittal South Africa, 52% owned by Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, the world`s biggest steelmaker, is searching for alternative iron-ore supplies after declining to exercise an option to participate in a Kumba mine-expansion project.

The iron-ore miner wants to double production by 2015.

The referral to arbitration “is by mutual consent and in the good spirit between the two parties as they could not resolve the dispute,” Tami Didiza, spokesman for Mittal`s Vanderbiijlpark, South Africa-based unit, said on Wednesday.

“It`s more on the interpretation of an agreement between the two parties which was concluded in October 2001.”

Information from: www.mining-journal.com

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