MOSCOW, December 6 - RAPSI. Kazakhstan's ENRC Plc has withdrawn its claims against Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), Russian leading steelmaker, and dropped its lawsuit to freeze its Australian assets as the parties reached a settlement, MMK reports.

MMK ranks among the world's largest steel producers and is the leader in the Russian steel sector. In 2010 MMK produced 11.4 m tons of crude steel and 10.4 m tons of commercial steel products.

The Court of Arbitration of the Zurich Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Court of Australia have been notified of the settlement.

"We are satisfied with the results of our negotiations with ENRC. The mutual waiver of claims confirms our bilateral intention to cooperate on a long-term basis," said MMK CEO Boris Dubrovsky.

"ENRC and MMK continue to benefit from long-term partnership and we are pleased to retain MMK as one of our valued customers," said ENRC CEO Felix J. Vulis.
The Federal Court of Australia unblocked on Monday MMKs Australian assets worth $866 million, including MMK's five-percent stake in Fortescue Metal Group, Australian Flinders Mines reports.

MMK's major iron ore supplier, ENRC Marketing AG (Switzerland, a subsidiary of Kazakh ENRC), filed a lawsuit in late November with the Federal Court of Australia against MMK and its Luxembourg-registered 100-percent subsidiary Mining Assets Management.

Eventually, MMK's assets were blocked.

ENRC Marketing AG supplies ore for MMK under a long-term contract effective until 2017. MMK requested its partners to make the terms of supply more beneficial in the current market situation, but ENRC has refused.

In late November MMK made a $537 million bid for Australian-based Flinders Mines. The acquisition deal must be agreed upon with the Australian regulatory authorities and should be closed by March 2012. Flinders board of directors is still inclined to approve it.