During his presentation at the Global Iron Ore 2021 international conference, Yuri Gavrilov, a strategy and M&A director at Metalloinvest, the Russia-based leading global iron ore and hot briquetted iron producer, stated that by 2030 the share of EAF-produced steel in total steel output is expected to grow from the current 21 percent to 37 percent. Such changes will be driven chiefly by growing demand for high-quality EAF-produced steel, the lower quality of scrap, and stricter environmental requirements. “By 2024, one of the world’s largest HBI plants will be built in the Kursk region, which will operate in close technological cooperation with Metalloinvest,” Mr. Gavrilov said. The new facility with its annual capacity designed to be more than two million mt is designed in accordance with carbon-free metallurgy principles, which will secure the transmission of the world’s industry to more ecological technologies. Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK will supply high-quality iron ore to the new plant. In addition, there are prospects for the construction of a steel melting shop, either independently or in cooperation with interested partners, whereby DRI will be supplied directly to a new electric arc furnace shop. As a result, sustainable production of high-quality steel may be launched, with a full-cycle control in line with all potential environmental requirements and, concurrently, with low transportation costs when exporting products.
Metalloinvest is continuing to improve concentrate quality, with the main focus on growth in production of high-margin products, namely pellets and HBI. The company believes that premium pellets and hot briquetted and direct reduced iron (HBI/DRI) are the future for green metallurgy.
Currently, the company is proceeding with the implementation of a complex program aiming to improve the quality of iron ore products at Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK and to increase production volumes, in particular. In 2020, Metalloinvest launched the production of a new commercial product, namely premium quality iron ore pellets (DR-grade) intended for subsequent metallization. In 2022, the concentrate beneficiation facility will be completed, which will produce up to 17 million mt of high-quality concentrate annually, for pellet production at Mikhailovsky GOK’s pellet plant.