Magnetite access to help IDC in building new steel mill

iron  KC TohIDC will soon be able to launch the new steel mill if it secures access to steady energy source. (Image source: KC Toh/Flickr)South Africa's state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has obtained access to key steelmaking feedstock, magnetite, which will help it in achieving its goal of building a new steel mill

The IDC has been trying to secure sufficient energy supplies to convert its plans into a reality, since the plans to launch a new steel mill were revealed last year.

The IDC is part of a group including Chinese steel producer Hebei Iron and Steel, which acquired a 74.5 per cent stake in Palabora Mining from Rio Tinto and Anglo American.

Palabora’s main asset, a copper mine in Limpopo, has amassed a 240mn tonne dump of magnetite, access to which will support the IDC’s plans to build a steel plant.

IDC head of mining Abel Malinga said, “There are certain constraints around some inputs. We need to make sure the planning is synchronised so that there are no bottlenecks”

The proposed steel plant will be capable of producing 2.5mn tonnes of steel a year, the IDC had said in December 2012.

Malinga said last week that the IDC was preparing to meet an anticipated increase in steel demand in the next two to three decades in South Africa and the rest of the continent as well.

The IDC head added, “Steel is an important input for any developing economy. If we plan properly we will have enough additional steel required for the growth of the nation.”

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