Metalloinvest improves iron ore product quality for sustainable development in metals and mining

1 December 2020

Metalloinvest, a leading global iron ore and HBI producer, and one of the regional producers of high-quality steel, presented the development vision for its mining enterprises and shared its experiences in producing pure steel at the ‘Clean Steel: from Ore to Rolled Products – 2020’ conference.

Lebedinsky GOK and Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK’s development strategy is aimed at reinforcing the Company’s position among the world’s leading producers of high value-added iron ore products.

Rinat Ismagilov, Director of the Mining Production Department of Management Company Metalloinvest, said: “Our goal is to produce a range of high quality iron ore products, from blast furnace pellets with minimum 65% iron content and less than 5% silica content to premium DR-grade pellets with over 67.5% iron content and less than 1.5% silica content. Metalloinvest continues to improve concentrate quality, while focusing on growing the share of high-margin products, namely pellets and hot briquetted iron. We are aspiring to raise our product quality to the best global standards. An important element of the Company’s operations is the reduction of its environmental impact, and all of the projects we are implementing are aimed at significantly reducing emissions and energy consumption.”

In 2020, Mikhailovsky GOK launched the production of a new commercial product – premium quality iron ore pellets (DR-grade), intended for subsequent metallisation in the production of direct reduced iron and hot briquetted iron (DRI/HBI). The pellets’ iron content is approximately 68%, while the level of harmful impurities – silicon dioxide and sulphur – is extremely low. DRI/HBI production from this type of pellets delivers energy savings of up to 50% compared to smelting pig iron, while greenhouse gas emissions are 60% lower.

New technology for the direct reduction of iron and smelting in electric furnaces has been implemented at Alexey Ugarov OEMK, enabling the enterprise to produce metal virtually free from harmful impurities and residual elements, which in turn ensures its consistently high demand both in Russia and abroad.

Sergey Korshikov, Head of the Steel Production Technical Support Department at OEMK, noted that the enterprise is constantly increasing the use of direct reduced iron in steel production, while reducing consumption of scrap metal. He stressed: “At the same time, we succeeded in achieving lower content of non-ferrous and harmful impurities.”

The development of out-of-furnace processing and steel casting facilities, ensuring products meet the requirements of the global market, plays an important role in increasing steel product quality at OEMK.

The ‘Pure Steel: from Ore to Rolled Products – 2020’ conference was held online on 24-25 November. The event was organised by the Association of Steel Smelters in cooperation with Metalloinvest, the Scientific Council for Metallurgy and Metal Science of the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Production Association TsNIITMASH and i3D.

The conference was held with the aim of exchanging experiences in the field of scientific and technical achievements in metal production, discussing trends in the production and consumption of raw materials for iron metal production, new opportunities for the production of high-quality metal products, developing cooperation between metal manufacturers and enterprises in related industries, and developing skills among iron manufacturing specialists.