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Article

17 Nov 2022

Author:
Eurasianet.org

Kazakhstan: ArcelorMittal is facing multi-million dollar fine as demands for modernization intensify in wake of fatalities at company's subsidiary

ArcelorMittal Temitau

Kazakhstan: ArcelorMittal sweats response to latest mining deaths, 17 November 2022

Steel giant ArcelorMittal is facing a multi-million dollar fine as Kazakh officials intensify demands for modernization in the wake of yet more fatalities at the steel giant’s local subsidiary.  

The November 3 mine explosion that left five miners dead in the city of Shakhtinsk has once again called into question safety and environmental compliance at the company’s operations – and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. 

Officials including President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have been giving ArcelorMittal Kazakhstan a tongue-lashing ahead of an election where the only candidate that matters is styling himself an opponent of “oligarchical capitalism.” 

On November 7, Tokayev leveled fresh criticism at the company, noting that it had racked up over 100 deaths since 2006...

This week, Environment Minister Serikkali Brekeshev paid a visit to the town of Temirtau, where the steelworks is based, and told residents that the company will be fined something in the region of 6 billion tenge (close to $13 million) pending the decision of a court after “gross violations of environmental legislation were revealed” in an inspection by authorities.  

The violations included “an excess of maximum permissible emissions, inefficient operation of treatment facilities, lack of permits,” Brekeshev said. 

It was not clear whether the inspection Brekeshev mentioned on November 16 had targeted the company’s mines, or the steelworks that the mines feed...