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Ailing mining company closes

THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in the Rožňava District in eastern Slovakia, which is already one of the highest in the country, could soon rise by two percentage points to more than 21 percent.

THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in the Rožňava District in eastern Slovakia, which is already one of the highest in the country, could soon rise by two percentage points to more than 21 percent.

The management at Siderit, an iron-ore mining company in Nižná Slaná, announced on October 27 that, after years of financial troubles, the company is entering bankruptcy proceedings.

The closure will leave about 600 of Siderit’s employees jobless, the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily wrote.

The announcement comes two months after the Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) gas utility shut off supplies to the company due to Sk200 million in unpaid bills.

In an effort to save jobs, the government last year injected Sk183.5 million into the struggling company, part of which the company spent on modernisation and making its operation more energy efficient, the SITA newswire wrote.

Siderit is one of the biggest employers in the Rožňava District. It extracts iron ore which has a low iron content and must therefore be processed into blast-furnace pellets, which requires a lot of energy. The company is one of the only producers of blast-furnace pellets in Central Europe.

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