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By John Helmer, Moscow The Ukrainian civil war, and its aftermath, economic warfare between the US, the European Union, and Russia, are transforming the global flows of the minerals from which steel is made. Starting with iron-ore, the future for steelmaking will start at the minehead, not in Australia, nor Brazil, but in West Africa. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Roman Abramovich was recently able to bamboozle a British judge with no experience of Russia, when the credibility standard was set by Boris Berezovsky. But can his winsome personality persuade President Vladimir Putin and energy chief Igor Sechin that Russia badly needs to acquire an Australian company that has adapted Soviet [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Severstal reconfirmed this week that the control shareholder and executive chairman, Alexei Mordashov, has ruled out buying brownfield projects or loss-making steelmills. The company is not saying, however, whether it will agree to buy from ArcelorMittal parts of the Florange steelmill in northeastern France. Two blast furnaces at the struggling site [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The shrinking violet of English literature, Jane Austen (image top right), said it best: “Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.” Alexei Mordashov (image centre) likes to think of the Business System he has introduced at his [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A year is a long time in Russian politics, and Vladimir Putin isn’t the same man he was a year ago. Then — on July 15, 2011 — he visited Magnitogorsk, presided at the official commissioning of the new automotive steel production line known as Mill-2000, and spent three hours answering [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow At a closed-door hearing today at the Chelyabinsk Arbitrazh Court, Judge Natalia Bulavintseva again refused to hear argument for and against the proposed half-billion dollar acquisition of an Australian iron-ore miner, Flinders Mines, by Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK). The court secretary Sergei Povalyaev said the judge ordered the hearing postponed for [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) announced Thursday it will not agree to extend the time for its agreement to buy Flinders Mines, an Australian iron-ore miner, after the deal deadline or quit date expires tomorrow, June 30. “Magnitogorsk’s decision on its future actions regarding the agreement will be taken only when the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A three-judge appeals court panel in Chelyabinsk this morning preserved the injunction against Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) completing its takeover of Australian iron-ore miner, Flinders Mines. Today’s proceedings were a continuation of the May 30 hearing in Appeal Court no. 18 of the Chelyabinsk Arbitrazh Court, when Judge Galina Fedina, accompanied [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Judge Galina Fedina ruled this morning, after a brief, open hearing, that she is postponing until June 6 her consideration of the injunction against Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) finalizing its takeover of Flinders Mines. The action was confirmed by the judge’s spokesman at the Chelyabinsk Court of Appeal no. 18, Olga [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The penultimate move in the two-month contest to stop the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) takeover of Flinders Mines, scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock local time, is already proving to be as bizarre as everything else recorded in the Chelyabinsk arbitrazh court to date.