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Silvermet-Befesa gets EBRD loan for their Turkish Iskenderun zinc plant expansion

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Spanish Befesa Zinc and Silvermet Canadian company active in zinc concentrates recovery signed the loan agreement with EBRD for their JV Turkish zinc plant expansion project.

Silvermet Inc. announced that its Turkish joint venture with Spain’s Befesa Zinc S.A.U (“Befesa Zinc”) has signed a US$20 million loan with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”). The loan amount is equal to 80% of the estimated US$25 million cost for the expansion of Iskenderun zinc plant.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is promoting industrial waste recycling in Turkey with a US$ 20 million loan to Befesa Silvermet İskenderun Çelik Tozu Geri Dönüşümü A.Ş. (“Befesa Silvermet Iskenderun”), a company which operates a steel dust recycling plant in the south-eastern city of Iskenderun.

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Befesa Silvermet İskenderun is owned by a joint venture between Befesa Zinc, a leading recycler of steel waste in Europe, and Silvermet, active in steel dust recycling in Turkey.

At the plant, Befesa Silvermet Iskenderun extracts zinc from electric arc furnace dust, a hazardous waste generated by steel producers that needs to be recycled or disposed of in specialized landfills. The plant uses highly efficient Waelz technology to transform electric arc furnace dust into secondary zinc, also known as Waelz oxide. The final product is then sold to the world’s leading zinc smelters, shifting zinc industry from mining to recycling.

The EBRD’s financing will double the plant’s electric arc furnace dust treatment capacity to 110,000 tons per year. The investment supports a profitable solution for recycling zinc from steel dust instead of producing it from limited natural resources and helps reduce the amount of hazardous waste sent to landfills in one of the three main steel-making regions of Turkey.

Turkey is the 8th largest steel producer in the world and the 5th largest producer of electric arc furnace dust.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director for Manufacturing and Services, said: “By producing a high-value product from industrial waste for which there is worldwide demand, Befesa Silvermet is transforming trash into treasure. The EBRD is pleased to be financing this exemplary solution as part of its efforts to advance sustainable waste management and promote a circular economy in Turkey and elsewhere. The Iskenderun plant has the potential to become a showcase for exporting the company’s recycling model to other steel-making countries where the EBRD invests.”

Asier Zarraonandia Ayo, Director and CEO of Befesa Zinc, said: “Coming to Turkey was our strategic decision. We see great potential, believe in the country and are happy to bring best available steel dust recycling technology to the Turkish market.”

Stephen G. Roman, Chairman, President and CEO of Silvermet said: “The $25 million expansion will allow us to double the recycling capacity resulting in the increase of zinc concentrate production to over 50 million pounds of contained zinc per year. The upgraded facility will use state-of-the-art environmental technology and will boost profits.”

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