ArcelorMittal to cut iron ore output, slash jobs in Bosnia

ArcelorMittal will reduce output and cut 300 out of 800 jobs at its iron ore mines in Bosnia, the world's largest steelmaker said on Tuesday.

Output will be reduced by a third to 1 million tonnes and the job cuts will be carried out from September, it said in a statement.

ArcelorMittal operates a steel plant in the central Bosnian town of Zenica which processes iron ore from its Omarska mines in Prijedor.

It said the move was aimed at prolonging the effective life of the Omarska mine by up to 10 years. "Without taking these measures, the mine would have to close in 2025," the company said.

ArcelorMittal Zenica will reduce its consumption of iron ore from Omarska and instead import additional iron ore from outside Bosnia, it added.

In January, ArcelorMittal's application to bid for the Bosnian government's stake in the nearby Ljubija iron ore mine was rejected, prompting the company to warn of risks to the future of mining in the area.

ArcelorMittal announced plans on Monday to temporarily cut its annual European Union steel output by 3 million tonnes due to weakening demand, rising imports coupled with insufficient EU trade protection, high energy costs and rising carbon costs.

(By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)