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Turkey: Steel producer Erdemir unveils iron ore reserves

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Erdemir, Türkiye’s leading integrated steel producer, has announced the discovery of significant magnetite iron ore reserves, estimated at 250-300 million tons, at one of its mines in Avnik, Bingöl province. This discovery has prompted the company to commence the construction of a pelletizing plant in the area, as reported by S&P Global.

Suleyman Savas Erdem, CEO of Erdemir, stated that these newly found reserves will fulfill the company’s iron ore requirements for the next 30-35 years. Additionally, upon completion of the pelletizing plant, Erdemir’s reliance on pellet imports is expected to decrease significantly, with self-sufficiency in this material projected to rise from 25-30% to 80-85%.

Erdem highlighted the strategic importance of the pelletizing plant investment, emphasizing its role in mitigating the adverse impacts of trade quotas, emissions trading systems, raw material crises, and supply chain disruptions. He noted that aside from enhancing competitiveness and sustainability, the plant promises high profitability.

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The construction of the pelletizing plant, which is designed to have an annual capacity of 3 million tons, requires an investment of $550 million. Although the launch date has not been specified, it is anticipated that approximately 2,000 individuals will be employed during the construction phase, with 1,000 permanent jobs created once the plant becomes operational.

According to reports from the Turkish Ekonomist, Türkiye witnessed a 4% decrease in iron ore imports in 2023 compared to the previous year, totaling 9.58 million tons. This decline corresponds to a similar reduction in steel production by Turkish steelmakers, dropping by 4% year-on-year to 33.7 million tons. Notably, iron ore imports from Ukraine in the same period amounted to around 600 thousand tons.

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