This Morning in Metals: ArcelorMittal to lay off workers at East Chicago steel mill

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This morning in metals news, layoffs are coming at ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor steel mill, Japan’s steel output is forecast to plunge and Nevada Copper has suspended its Pumpkin Hollow operations.

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Layoffs hits Indiana Harbor

ArcelorMittal will lay off workers at its Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.

The report cited a letter by United Steelworkers Local 1010 President Steve Wagner, who wrote to union members that the company said all workers with less than two years would be laid off.

“The company has mandated that all employees with less than two years be laid off. This is not in line with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our interpretation is that the company must offer voluntary layoffs before anybody is involuntarily laid off,” Wagner was quoted as saying in the letter.

Japan’s steel output falling

Japan’s steel output is forecast to fall 26% this quarter, Bloomberg reported, amid impacts from the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan is the third-largest steel producer in the world after having been passed by India last year.

Nevada Copper pauses operations

Nevada Copper has announced earlier this week it will suspend its operations at its Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Nevada as a result of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The temporary suspension of copper production, currently anticipated to last six weeks or more, will be subject to revision in response to any further government-mandated measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including directives from the Governor of Nevada’s Office,” the firm said in a release. “During this period, essential mine services will continue on site, including reduced underground mine development and other activities necessary to maintain the operation in a ready condition for the ramp back-up of activities as COVID-19 related impacts are ameliorated. The Company is reviewing various cost reduction initiatives to preserve liquidity and protect the Company during the suspension period.”

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