Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ArcelorMittal exec says wants more ore, coal: paper

Steel maker ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) aims to lift its self-sufficiency in iron ore to 90 percent by 2018 from 47 percent today and also wants to secure other commodities, an executive told French newspaper Les Echos.

Malay Mukherjee, head of ArcelorMittal's mining strategy, said the company was also looking at expanding its power generation activities through joint ventures in South Africa and Trinidad where it has big electricity needs.

In the interview Mukherjee declined to comment when asked if ArcelorMittal could be interested in mining groups Xstrata (XTA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) or Eramet (ERMT.PA: Quote, Profile, Research).

He also declined to comment on whether ArcelorMittal could bid for French steel tube maker Vallourec (VLLP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research). He said, however, ArcelorMittal could meet its target to become one of the world's top three steel tube makers through organic growth.

"We don't consider mining activity to be a business in itself. Our approach is to cover our own needs...and we still have lots of work to cover our needs," he told Les Echos.

"Our aim is to be 75 percent self-sufficient in iron ore by 2012 and 90 percent by 2018 compared with 47 percent today."

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