Solid progress for ITMk3 iron making technology

first_imgFerrowest’s Eradu MPI project in Western Australia proposes the production of 1 Mt/y of merchant pig iron (MPI) in the form of 96% Fe iron nuggets using the new ITMk3® manufacturing process. The world’s first full scale ITMk3 plant is being commissioned in the USA for Steel Dynamics. “Being new, ground breaking technology, it has experienced teething problems to be expected with such a quantum step forward in steel making methods,” Ferrowest says. “However, solid progress is being made and engineering enhancements to the design are continuing to secure better performance outcomes. Product quality has been high from the start of commissioning but ensuring sustained ‘name plate’ production capacity has been a long process. 75% production capacity has been achieved and a sustained level of 85% is targeted following some further engineering changes that are currently underway.”There is great confidence that full name plate capacity will be achieved in time for Ferrowest to be able to use the technology in a ‘proven’ form.Recent experience with the tough iron market has demonstrated the soundness of the company’s unique business plan to add value to iron ore to produce MPI. This has been shown to be a superior approach had the project been in operation in the last year when compared to the sale of magnetite concentrate. The increased product price margins generated through the value adding approach makes a more resilient operational scenario. There is also less competition in the MPI sector for supply into Asia, where Ferrowest would hold a cost advantage over its main competitors that are based outside the region.While the company’s current plans are to supply the Eradu MPI plant with magnetite concentrate from its Yogi mine project, it is expected there will be two and possibly three sources of magnetite concentrate available in the Mid West Region in the time frame required for the Eradu MPI plant.This further provides opportunities for the company to stage development of its projects in a more manageable way.last_img

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