Republic Steel and ERP Iron Ore plan to form a joint venture (JV) to produce pig iron at Republic’s steel mill located in Lorain, Ohio. When fully operational, the Lorain mill is expected to produce up to 1 million net tons of pig iron per year. The JV will serve the increasing demand for virgin iron required to produce steel in the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) sector.
The JV benefits from the existing infrastructure located at Republic’s plant in Lorain, including its blast furnaces, and its location along the Black River providing cost-effective shipping to major EAF steel producers. ERP plans to rail iron ore pellets to Lorain from its Reynolds, Indiana, plant, which was recently constructed at a cost of more than $400 million.
“We are excited to announce this new venture and look forward to utilizing our assets in Lorain, Ohio, to bring back production of pig iron, which was previously displaced by foreign imports,” said Republic President and CEO Jaime Vigil.
ERP CEO Tom Clarke added, “We are very excited to partner with Republic in rebuilding a U.S. industry and providing employment in areas economically depressed by foreign imports.”
ERP Iron Ore LLC is affiliated with a consortium of mining and industrial assets producing coke, coking coal and iron ore. ERP affiliates have successfully reopened mining operations throughout North America and are now the second largest producer of coking coal in North America, with run-rate production of 10.6 million tons per year (t/y). ERP acquired the former Magnetation assets with three iron ore beneficiation plants located in and adjacent to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and the Metso pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana, capable of producing 3.5 million t/y. ERP affiliates have confirmed a plan of reorganization to invest $250 million of equity capital, to sponsor Mesabi Metallics in its reorganization and completion of a 7-million-ton-per-year Metso pellet plant in Nashwauk, Minnesota. The Magnetation and Mesabi assets represent more than $2.6 billion of recently invested capital with future capacity to produce 10.5 million t/y of the highest quality iron ore pellets.