Mine Fire in Kazakhstan Kills 46, Accelerates Nationalization Talks – by Catherine Putz (The Diplomat – October 31, 2023)


After years of safety problems, ArcelorMittal confirms its in talks to transfer ownership to Kazakhstan. But a change of ownership won’t necessarily make mining any safer.

When a fire broke out at the Kostenco coal mine in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda region on October 28, 252 people were underground. Although 206 were safely evacuated to the surface, 46 miners died in the mine.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev did not mince words, calling ArcelorMittal – the international mining giant and parent company of ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which operates the Kostenco mine – “the worst in our history in terms of cooperation between the government and [a private] enterprise.”

After expressing his condolences to the families of the miners killed, Tokayev declared October 29 a Day of National Mourning and “gave instructions to terminate investment cooperation with ArcelorMittal Temirtau.”

Although the incident prompted Tokayev’s strident remarks, the government and the company were already in talks to split. In a press release, ArcelorMittal confirmed that “the two parties have been in discussions concerning the future of ArcelorMittal Temirtau and recently signed a preliminary agreement for a transaction that will transfer ownership to the Republic of Kazakhstan.”

For the rest of this article: https://thediplomat.com/2023/10/mine-fire-in-kazakhstan-kills-46-accelerates-nationalization-talks/