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Troubled alumina maker MAL cuts off 250 jobs

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013

Hungarian alumina maker MAL is laying off about 250 people as it ceases processing its own bauxite, liquidator Judit Kemerle Szego said yesterday. About 72% of the layoffs are skilled workers.

The layoffs will take place by next May, she added.

MAL earlier laid off 183 people at its bauxite mine in Halimba. The company closed the mine early this year, around the same time it was ordered into liquidation proceedings. MAL owes creditors and suppliers HUF 19 billion.

It must also pay almost HUF 150 billion in waste management and recovery fees. MAL was fined HUF 135.1 billion in 2011 for environmental damage caused by a toxic sludge spill at its plant in Ajka. A reservoir at the plant ruptured in October 2010, sending a flood of red sludge through surrounding villages that killed ten people and damaged hundreds of homes. The event is still known as Hungary's worst-ever environmental disaster.

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