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Cliffs seals DR pellet deal with ArcelorMittal Canada


Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to ship direct reduced (DR)-grade pellets to ArcelorMittal SA’s two direct reduced iron (DRI) plants in Canada, the company’s top executive said in early February.

Cleveland-based Cliffs has “just started doing business” with ArcelorMittal’s Canada operations, Cliffs chairman and chief executive officer Lourenco Goncalves said during an earnings call.

Cliffs plans to start supplying ArcelorMittal’s two DRI plants, in Contrecoeur, Quebec, soon, he said at the time, without specifying timeframes or shipment volumes.

The steelmakers’ two DRI plants, designed by Midrex Technologies Inc., have a combined capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year, supplying mostly ArcelorMittal’s Contrecoeur steelmaking complex, which has a raw steel capacity of 1.7 million tons per year, according to the Luxembourg-based steelmaker’s website.

In a way, that new customer relationship is an offshoot of a pellet that Cliffs designed for Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.’s
DRI plant in Trinidad & Tobago, according to Goncalves. Nucor supported Cliffs in its initial development of DR-grade pellets, now
produced out of its Northshore mine in Babbitt, Minn., he noted Cliffs began producing DRgrade pellet out of the Northshore
mine in late 2015.

Globally, ArcelorMittal SA operates 16 DRI plants with a combined capacity of 11.7 million tonnes, producing 7.6 million tonnes of the metallic feed in 2015, its latest fact book says.

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