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China Minmetals, steel firms to set up iron ore blending facility in Hebei

China Minmetals Corp said on Friday it had signed a deal with four other companies, including two of China’s biggest steelmakers, to set up an international trading centre that would blend iron ore in China’s northeastern province of Hebei.

China Minmetals said the hub, with a blending capacity of 41 million tonnes per year, would be located in the industrial area of Caofeidian and will include bonded warehousing and ore distribution facilities. The company did not provide a sum for the size of the investment involved.

Hebei is China’s biggest steel producing province and is home to city of Tangshan, the largest steel making city.

The other companies to sign the cooperation agreement include the Port of Caofeidian Group, steelmakers HBIS Group and Shougang Group and China Ocean Shipping Group Co (Cosco) , China Minmetals said in a statement.

China Minmetals, which mostly produces copper, zinc and nickel, billed the venture as an environment-friendly move as it would centralize the ore blending process to replace “scattered” blending sites that add to China’s persistent smog problems.

The Caofeidian centre will be able to cater to the individual “appetite” of steelmakers’ blast furnaces, the company said, relieving them of the need to shop around among various suppliers for their ore requirements.

“The project will gradually change the channels and trade modes for Chinese steel enterprises to import ore,” it said.

Source: Reuters & Hellenic Shipping News

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