7-MIL­LION TPA PEL­LET PROJECT Es­sar Steel Min­nesota achieves fi­nan­cial clo­sure

Project Monitor - - FRONT PAGE - A BUSINESS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Es­sar Steel Min­nesota LLC has achieved fi­nan­cial clo­sure to com­plete the con­struc­tion of its fully per­mit­ted open-pit iron ore mine, crush­ing, con­cen­trat­ing and pel­letiz­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Min­nesota, USA, which will have an an­nual pel­let pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 7 mil­lion tonnes, a company re­lease said.

With this fi­nanc­ing in place, ESML will ramp up pro­cure­ment ac­tiv­i­ties and con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties at the project site. In the next 30 to 60 days, con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties at the ESML site will fo­cus on com­ple­tion of foun­da­tional and con­crete work be­fore the win­ter freeze-up.

ESML is an­tic­i­pat­ing ex­ten­sive con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties at the project site dur­ing the win­ter months with the fo­cus on erect­ing steel for nu­mer­ous struc­tures, in­stal­la­tion of sheet­ing on build­ings, and the in­stal­la­tion of nu­mer­ous pieces of ma­chin­ery and equip­ment in the fa­cil­i­ties. The company an­tic­i­pates start­ing pro­duc­tion of ta­conite pel­lets in the sec­ond half of 2015.

ESML has al­ready in­vested ap­prox­i­mately $1 bil­lion in the project to date.

Madhu Vup­pu­luri, Pres­i­dent and CEO, Es­sar Steel Min­nesota LLC, said: “This is a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion for our company and for the Iron Range as we now have in place the nec­es­sary fi­nanc­ing to com­plete this his­toric project. By hav­ing com­pleted the nec­es­sary fi­nanc­ing for this project, we look for­ward to mov­ing ag­gres­sively to­ward project com­ple­tion and com­mence­ment of pro­duc­tion.” Es­sar Group ac­quired the state-of-the-art open pit mine and green­field pel­let plant project lo­cated on the Mesabi Range in Min­nesota, USA, in Oc­to­ber 2007. The project in­volves the con­struc­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of an iron ore pel­let plant with a to­tal pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 7 mil­lion tpa of iron ore pel­lets. Ini­tial com­mis­sion­ing to be­gin in Q2 2015. Full 7 mil­lion tpa pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity to be achieved by Q1 2016. The project is lo­cated over ap­prox­i­mately 19,000 acres of land, of which 4,360 acres are min­eral lease land with com­pleted in­fra­struc­ture for iron ore op­er­a­tions and ex­port. En­vi­ron­men­tal per­mits have been re­ceived for con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tions of up to 7 mil­lion tpa ca­pac­ity.

Madhu Vup­pu­luri, Pres­i­dent and CEO, Es­sar Steel Min­nesota LLC

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