Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

ArcelorMittal plans to recommence its iron ore expansion plan in Liberia in FY2021 with the construction of 15mn mt annual fines capacity concentrator as part of its strategy to develop the company’s iron ore resources. The phase 2 expansion project will transitions ArcelorMittal Liberia from a 5mn mt direct shipped ore (DSO) unit to an annual 15mn mt capacity high-value concentrate producer. 


The company has estimated a capital expenditure of $800mn for the expansion plan and upgrades to rail and port infrastructure stated in a company report. ArcelorMittal has forecast $250mn EBITDA generation on completion of the project at conservative long-term iron ore prices. With this investment, ArcelorMittal’s total investment in Liberia will exceed $2.5bn, which includes building a 243km railway and upgradation of the Buchanan port in Phase 1.


ArcelorMittal Liberia operates as a direct shipped ore (DSO) unit since 2011. The expansion will enhance its 5mn mt DSO capacity to an annual 15mn mt high-value concentrate production capacity. First concentrate production from the plant is expected by Q4 FY2023.


Besides the Liberian expansion, ArcelorMittal’s key strategic priorities in 2021 include the completion of a hot strip mill project in Mexico which adds 2.5mn mt HRC capacity and restart of investment in Brazil’s Vega project adding galvanising/cold rolling capacity.


In 2020, ArcelorMittal produced 71.5mn mt of crude steel, while iron ore production was 58mn mt. In Q1 FY2021, the company steel shipments increased to 16.5mn mt, up by 6.5pc from Q4 as demand recovered supporting positive steel spreads. 

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