Gerdau is to increase its iron ore production capacity by nearly 80% over the next couple of years, in a move that will see it start selling the steelmaking raw material in the market.
The steelmaker’s current installed capacity of 6.5 million tpy of iron ore, which is enough to feed its 4.5 million tpy Açominas steel works, will be lifted to 11.5 million tpy by 2014 through the installation of a second beneficiation plant in Minas Gerais state, in south-eastern Brazil.
“Our target [to feed Açominas] is 6.5 million tpy; the additional volume will be sold,” ceo André Gerdau Johannpeter told Metal Bulletin during a press conference call on Thursday May 3.
The company will spend 838 million Reais ($438 million) both to build the second concentrator and in logistics works.
Investments in logistics will include the installation of a 9km conveyor system connecting the iron ore site to Açominas and the construction of a new railway terminal.
Meanwhile, Gerdau continues to move ahead with broader studies to monetise its iron ore assets, which includes negotiations with possible partners and the installation of a seaport terminal
with capacity to handle as much as 70 million tpy of iron ore.