Thank you for contacting us with your concerns. We appreciate the opportunity for engagement.
The thoughts of everyone at ArcelorMittal are with the families of our five colleagues who tragically died in the accident at the Kazakhstanskaya mine. We have been doing everything we can to support the families of those colleagues at this very difficult time. We are also supporting the relevant authorities’ efforts to ensure the mine is safe and their investigation to ascertain the cause of this tragic accident.
At ArcelorMittal we are committed to work towards a goal of zero accidents, injuries, and general wellbeing in the workplace. This commitment is endorsed by our company’s Health and Safety Policy and procedures, our Human Rights Policy, as well as our Code of Business Conduct.
Notably, in the year 2022, we undertook a comprehensive update of our health and safety strategy. This update was essential to place increased emphasis on fostering an effective safety culture company-wide, as well as to establish a robust risk management framework and procedures of the highest quality. These foundational changes were pivotal in our pursuit of significantly improved safety performance.
Additional strategic actions on improving health and safety performance included strengthening our governance of health and safety, benchmarking our safety culture to advance along the Bradley Curve, adopting a 'predict and prevent' safety approach, crafting tailored risk control and mitigation strategies, implementing enriched training and coaching programs, and expanding our use of quarantine practices while increasing our presence on the shop floor. These initiatives reflect our unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our workforce .
Our advancements in risk management, governance, and cultural transformation have yielded notable achievements across various of the company’s segments. Nevertheless, it's important to acknowledge that the substantial endeavors dedicated to enhancing our operations in Kazakhstan have yet to materialize into tangible performance enhancements.
ArcelorMittal has been a long-term, committed investor in Kazakhstan. Since 2003, we have invested $5 billion to modernise and overhaul Soviet-era steel assets and coal mines. Throughout this period, our central goal has been to improve and transform the business, which employs 38,000 people and plays a critical role in supporting the communities around our operations.
Throughout our ownership we have undoubtedly faced a very challenging safety environment. Addressing these safety challenges has always been a priority, and one we are determined to address and to improve. Over the last four years, we have invested an additional $130 million to improve the safety of our operations. Much of this spend has been directed to our mining business, for state-of-the-art sensors to monitor gas levels and personnel tracking systems so we can identify the location of all miners at all times, and on drilling equipment that enables us to study and better understand the geology of our mines. We have also significantly enhanced the volume and quality of our safety training, working with external safety experts. In 2022 there was an 82% increase in our training activities in the steel division (6,000 training sessions) and a 124% increase in the mining division (22,000 sessions). It is deeply disappointing that despite these significant efforts, accidents are still happening.
When fatal accidents happen, we always endeavour to do all we can to support the families. In terms of compensation, we have an agreement with the trade unions which sets out the levels of compensation and further support that is due. We have always honoured this agreement and paid the compensation owed in full. We recognise the devastation that is caused when a family loses a loved one and have always wanted to ensure that in such a circumstance the family is supported and provided for.
With regard to ArcelorMittal Temirtau’s environmental performance, there has been progress under our ownership. Our air emissions (NOx, SOx and dust) have reduced by 46 per cent since we acquired the operation. Looking ahead, we intend to lower our total emissions by a further 50 per cent. To deliver on this we are making significant investments to upgrade our power plants, installing electrostatic precipitation filters at our sinter plant and constructing new EU best-available-technology compliant coke oven batteries. These are major, long-term, capital-intensive projects that will support our environmental reduction targets.