ArcelorMittal Sells Canadian Iron Ore Mining Stake

BRUSSELS (AP) -- ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel maker, said it is selling a minority stake in a Canadian iron ore mine after failing to take it over last year.

The company said in a Friday statement that it would sell its 28.6 percent in Wabush Mines to Canadian miner Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. for $34.28 million.

ArcelorMittal took legal action in March 2008 against the other owners, U.S. Steel Canada and Ohio-based Cleveland Cliffs, saying they had reneged on a 2007 agreement to sell their stakes. Their change of mind may been linked to surging prices for iron ore in early 2008, when demand for steel was booming.

Before that, the two U.S. steel makers had also promised to sell their stakes to Consolidated Thompson, an agreement they likewise ditched. ArcelorMittal, as a co-owner since 2006, at the time claimed it had priority in buying the stakes.

ArcelorMittal said the holding "is no longer a core part of the company's mining strategy." It said other Canadian operations were still an important part of its future growth in both mining and steel making.

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