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ArcelorMittal steel giant to close plants in Belgium, with 1,300 jobs threatened

The world's leading steel and mining company ArcelorMittal has announced it will close a coke plant and six production lines in Belgium, in a move that threatens 1,300 jobs.

The company says collapsing demand for steel and structural overcapacity in the sector have forced it to close a coke plant and other facilities in eastern Liege, which has a steel industry going back two centuries.

ArcelorMittal Liege CEO Bernard Dehut says Thursday that lack of orders and an ailing European economy have made it "increasingly apparent that further action is required" in order to stem the continued losses' in Liege.

The company says it will continue to operate five steel production lines which employ 800 people.

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