Our aim is to create value through operational excellence and profitable growth. We care for the environment and our people, maintaining safety first, always
ArcelorMittal is among the five largest producers of iron ore and metallurgical coal, or coking coal, and our mining business is an increasingly essential part of our growth strategy.
With a geographically diversified portfolio of iron ore and coal assets, we are strategically positioned to serve our network of steel plants and the external global market. While our steel operations are important customers, our supply to the external market is increasing as we grow. Our goal is to have the capacity to produce 84 million tonnes of iron ore by 2015, and we are pursuing this aim through expansion of existing assets and acquisition of new, high-quality resources.
“Companies with large-scale, long-life and low-cost mining assets are able to sustain profitability during downturns and deliver shareholder value through the entire business cycle.”
Peter Kukielski, chief executive of mining
To sum up, we are building a world class mining business, focussing on value and growth.
ArcelorMittal has 29 mining operations, excluding two greenfield projects and other early-stage exploration projects. We are the first company to have brought a greenfield iron ore project to operation in West Africa, with the first shipment of iron ore from our mines in Liberia made in September 2011. Phase two of the Liberia project was approved by ArcelorMittal’s board of directors in early 2013, which aims at expanding capacity from four to 15 million tonnes per year in 2015 and to improve the quality of the product (from 60% to 66% iron) by installing a concentrator plant at the mine. Phase two will require a total investment of around US$1.5bn.
We are now preparing to develop an iron ore mine in the Canadian territory of Nunavut in the Arctic. In December 2012, the environmental impact assessment process was successfully completed and and a project was issued by the Canadian government. Negotiations are also progressing with the Qikiqtani Inuit Assoc on the completion of the Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement (IIBA), prioritising Inuit participation in the project. We expect the first ore to be shipped from our Mary River project in the second half of 2015.
In our Mont Wright mine, the expansion of production from 16 to 24 million tonnes per year is nearly complete. There is also potential for future expansion beyond 30 million tonnes per year given the size of the resource base and existing infrastructure.
Safety in mines
Mining requires people to work in potentially hazardous environments. We recognise these safety risks, and work towards nothing less than zero incidents – our goal is to become the benchmark for safe operations. Our lost-time injury rate in 2012 was 0.70, a 40% improvement compared with 2011.
In Brazil, where expansion is planned at our Andrade iron ore mine, we have had 20 years without any lost time injury. We encourage our people to take responsibility and be accountable. This means being bold; speaking up and taking action when required, which to us, is courageous leadership.
In 2013, we want to advance on our goal of zero fatalities and zero injuries. Our fatality prevention standards and a new health risk assessment process are being implemented at all our sites to contribute to this objective.
With every mining project, we aim to create opportunities for sustainable regional development that will outlive our mining activity. We work with local communities to build skills and social infrastructure to ensure long-term development. A example of this approach is also our mining project in Liberia, where we have invested in schools, hospitals and skills training for local residents, contributing to sustainable social change since the country’s civil war.
We are equally driven to mine responsibly and sustainably, minimising the impact of mining on the natural environment. We work closely with local communities to understand the regional environment and manage natural resources better. Our mining operation in West Virginia, US, for example, diverted 360 million gallons of excess water from a freshwater pumping station into two local lakes in 2010. This seasonal practice improves water quality and mitigates the impact on the lakes of warm water discharge from the city-owned public utility boilers.
We are also working to reduce our energy consumption. In Kazakhstan, our coal mining team is deploying technology to use gas from the country’s mines to generate electricity.
In a first for the country and for ArcelorMittal in Kazakhstan, a team of mining engineers at Lenina mine in Karaganda region has pioneered a way to use coal-bed methane for power generation. The gas is captured and then used as feedstock to generate 1.4MW of electricity – around 20% of the mine’s total power needs.