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Metalloinvest’s Mikhailovsky GOK site has launched a pilot program to produce premium iron ore pellets for hot briquetted iron (HBI) and direct reduced iron (DRI). 


Production of high-grade pellets is integral to Metalloinvest’s strategy to improve iron ore product quality in its product assortment the company said in a press release on Wednesday. 


The batches are undergoing industrial testing at Ledinsky GOK and OEMK and commercial production will be determined based on testing results of these batches with goals for 68pc iron content in pellets, low sulfur at less than 0.003pc, and low silicon dioxide at less than 1.4pc.


Mikhailovsky GOK tested its new technology in laboratory tests and successfully produced pellets with over 71pc iron content and 1pc silicon dioxide, thereby exceeding standards, Metalloinvest noted.


Rinat Ismagilov, director of the mining production at Metalloinvest, said the premium product will be used in metallics productions throughout green steel production chains since DRI and HBI deliver 50pc energy savings with 60pc lesser carbon emissions compared to smelting pig iron. 


Consistent with its strategy, Mikhailovsky GOK is implementing the second stage of a fine screening project which began in 2019 and produced 1.2mn mt of high-quality concentrate that year. 


The construction of an iron ore concentrate facility has begun and is slated to become operational in 2022. The new facility will increase the production of high-quality concentrate to 16.4mn mt per year from its current output of 3.7mn mt annually. Long-term, 8.8pc, or 54mt of the flotation concentrate will consist of 70pc iron content. 

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