Tata Steel Ltd , the world's sixth-largest steelmaker, said on Friday its Corus unit has opened talks which might lead to the mothballing of its Teesside Cast Products plant in England and large job losses.

“Tata Steel’s European arm Corus regrets to announce that it has been forced to open consultations that might result in a decision to mothball its TCP plant in northern England,” said Tata Steel in a statement to the BSE on Friday.

The steelmaker said that the decision was unavoidable after a four-member consortium which had a slab offtake agreement decided last month to unilaterally terminate the contract, making the operations unviable.

While the Corus unit directly employs 1,920 workers, it also “supports thousands more jobs of contractors in the local economy,” the Community labor union said in a statement, adds Bloomberg.

The consortium includes Italian steelmaker Marcegaglia and South Korea's Dongkuk Steel. In January, Marcegaglia and Dongkuk had agreed to buy an 80 percent stake in the Teesside unit.

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