Email a friend
  • To include more than one recipient, please separate each email address with a semi-colon ';', to a maximum of 5

  • By submitting this article to a friend we reserve the right to contact them regarding Fastmarkets AMM subscriptions. Please ensure you have their consent before giving us their details.

Cliffs to build US DRI plant

May 31, 2017 | 08:00 PM | Fastmarkets AMM staff

Annual capacity is pegged at 1.5M tons.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to go solo in 2018 with plans to build a direct-reduced iron (DRI) plant in the United States, the company’s top executive said.

The planned facility—likely to be the first of a series throughout the U.S.—will have an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons, company chairman, chief executive officer and president Lourenco Goncalves said during an earnings call April 27.

The Cleveland-based iron ore miner and pellet producer will feed the plant with 2 million tons of direct-reduced (DR) grade pellets from its own operations, he said. Cliffs has said it sells DR-grade pellets to Charlotte, N.C-based Nucor Corp. as well as to Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA’s Canadian operations.

Cliffs primary market remains blast-furnace pellets for integrated steelmakers, Goncalves said. But the company’s push into DRI should allow it to play a bigger role in a U.S. market increasingly dominated by mini-mills, which  are hungry for more virgin iron units, he said.

Cliffs priority for 2017, nonetheless, is to pay down debt, so ground won’t be broken for a DRI project until 2018, Goncalves said. The company is already in negotiations, however, with two suppliers of DRI plants, he said.


Latest Pricing Trends Year Over Year