Gold mines ditch pricing gripe against steel firm

HARMONY Gold and DRD Gold said yesterday they had withdrawn an excessive pricing complaint against ArcelorMittal South Africa.

HARMONY Gold and DRD Gold said yesterday they had withdrawn an excessive pricing complaint against ArcelorMittal South Africa.

ArcelorMittal South Africa is a unit of the world's largest steel maker.

Shares in ArcelorMittal South Africa, which said it had not admitted liability in the long-running case, were down 2,6percent at R112,95 yesterday.

In May ArcelorMittal won an appeal against a record fine of R692million in September 2007 for charging excessively for flat steel products and preventing customers from selling on steel.

The case - initially launched with the competition authorities in 2002 - was then sent back to a tribunal for further examination.

"Harmony and DRD Gold withdrew their complaint, which remained unresolved after several years of litigation, following the conclusion of a settlement agreement with ArcelorMittal," the companies said in a joint statement.

Harmony and DRD Gold said the details of the settlement would remain private.

"This agreement has been reached without any admission of liability on the part of ArcelorMittal South Africa," the steel maker said in a separate statement.

"The parties wish to focus on their respective core business activities, rather than pursue protracted and costly litigation of this matter."

ArcelorMittal is involved in another unresolved competition case in which it could be fined 10percent of its annual revenue and exports for fixing prices with other companies.

X