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Cabinet gives money to ailing mining company

THE GOVERNMENT is giving Sk183.5 million (€5.5 million) to a struggling iron ore mining and processing company, Siderit, in an effort to save jobs.

Cabinet approved the aid injection on September 12. The company, based in Nižná Slaná in eastern Slovakia, will use it to cover half of the costs of its modernisation, which is projected at Sk367 million, the SITA newswire wrote.

The cabinet already decided in October 2006 to help Siderit because of the company's poor financial situation. The company fell on hard times when the prices of electricity and natural gas, along with other resources, went up.

The Economy Ministry said that modernising the company will keep Siderit afloat and avoid job cuts for its 600 or so employees. The closure would indirectly kill another 200 to 300 jobs.

Siderit is one of the biggest employers in Rožňava District, which is suffering from a high unemployment rate. It extracts iron ore and processes it into the final product: blast-furnace pellets. The company is one of the only producers of blast-furnace pellets in Central Europe.

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