12 Jan 2024 17:01

Kazakhstan's Qarmet stops production at Kostenko mine until all risks are eliminated

ALMATY. Jan 12 (Interfax) - The management of Qarmet, formerly ArcelorMittal Temirtau, has prohibited the resumption of production at the Kostenko coal mine until all possible factors for the repetition of the tragedy are eliminated, the Kazakh company's press service reported.

The Qarmet group reviewed the current situation at the Kostenko mine at a depth of 600 meters in the immediate vicinity of the accident site. The director of the mine, Andrei Boyko, reported on the results of inspection, work aimed at eliminating the causes and consequences of the incident, and prospects for resuming coal mining.

"The management of Qarmet, represented by Andrei Lavrentyev and Vadim Basin, prohibited the resumption of production in the mine until all possible factors for a repetition of the tragedy were eliminated. They noted that all the necessary means for the work completion are available to the engineers of the coal department," the statement says.

In the early hours of October 28, a fire and subsequent explosion at the Kostenko mine operated by Arcelor Mittal Temirtau claimed the lives of 46 miners. A criminal case has been opened into the death of the miners. Following the incident, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev demanded to end investment cooperation with the current shareholders of ArcelorMittal Temirtau. In early December 2023, the government of Kazakhstan announced the completion of a deal to pass the Kazakhstan-based assets of ArcelorMittal - ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC and ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Aktau JSC - into public ownership.

In December 2023, the government commission finished its investigation into the Kostenko Mine accident at ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC. The commission found industrial safety violations at the mine, such as poorly organized work and a lack of control over hazards like dust and explosion-proof measures in fixed mine workings.

The report placed all the blame on the employer. The findings were handed over to law enforcement agencies under labor laws.