NLMK Group has signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) with the Belgorod Region administration, and the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade for a nearly $3.4bn (RUR250bn) metals and mining project in the country.

The new metals and mining facility is planned to be built at the Stoilensky Mining and Beneficiation plant.

The project will utilise advanced and environmentally friendly technologies. Apart from including the development of several production stages, it will also involve mastering a new product for the company, hot-briquetted iron (HBI).

The metals and mining project is expected to create nearly 1,300 new high-tech jobs.

It is planned to be implemented for 2024-2027, with a phased commissioning scheduled for 2027-2028.

NLMK CEO Grigory Fedorishin said: “Hot-briquetted iron is currently in demand both in Russia and on the global market. Using this product in making steel cuts CO2 emissions in half vs. traditional technologies.

“The project marks the beginning of NLMK Group’s planning process for its new strategic development stage, Strategy 2030. High-tech integrated digital production with a low carbon and climate footprint is set to reinforce the company’s competitive advantages.”

The new project will see the expansion of the existing open pit mine to increase iron ore output from 43 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 67Mtpa.

It will also include the construction of new beneficiation capacities for a total of 10 million tonnes of concentrate.

Besides, the project will consist of a pelletising plant with a capacity of 9 million tonnes of pellets, and an HBI shop with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of HBI.

Stoilensky Mining and Beneficiation Plant, an NLMK company, develops one of the largest deposits of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly (KMA), is a territory rich in iron ores in Russia.

The main products of Stoilensky are iron ore concentrate, sinter ore and iron ore pellets.

In January, the company introduced a new hauling scheme at its open-pit mine, enabling the shortening of raw material hauling distance to the beneficiation facilities by 5km.