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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

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Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel producer, said Monday it had agreed to buy US coal mining group Mid Vol Coal for an undisclosed sum.

Mid Vol, based in Virginia and West Virginia, produced 1.5 million tonnes of coking coal last year and has reserves of 85 million tonnes.

"This acquisition further increases our upstream self-sufficiency in a primary raw material," said finance director Aditya Mittal in a statement.

ArcelorMittal is the biggest buyer of Mid Vol's coking coal, used to produce coke, which is a key raw material required in the steel-making process.

The acquisition fits with the company's strategy of buying mining groups to acquire its own supply of raw materials at a time of rapidly rising prices.

The company, controlled by Indian-born steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, has recently bought stakes in South Africa's Coal of Africa, Australian mining group Macarthur Coal and has bought three mines in Russia.

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