The Company began operating guided tours this summer at its largest facility, Lebedinsky GOK, in the Belgorod region, where tourists can see the world's largest open-pit iron ore mine from an observation deck. With a width of 5 km, the pit earned its place in the Guinness Book of Records several years ago. Tours also include visits to the beneficiation plant and the direct iron reduction plant – the latter employs a technology that underpins the future development of green metallurgy.
Since 2001, Lebedinsky GOK has been producing hot briquetted iron (HBI) – a form of direct reduced iron in the shape of convenient-to-transport briquettes. HBI is a sustainable raw material capable of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from steel production by up to 50%. Given steel companies' current drive to curtail carbon emissions and mitigate global warming, HBI is experiencing a well-deserved surge in demand, both within Russia and in export markets.
Metalloinvest's other mining unit, Mikhailovsky GOK, located in the Kursk region, initiated industrial tourism as early as 2021. Its offering includes opportunities to take photographs with a giant mining truck and to eat meals at the miners' canteen.
The steelmaking division of Metalloinvest, OEMK, began welcoming tourists earlier this year. OEMK adopted direct iron reduction technology to produce steel as far back as the 1980s, bypassing the use of traditional blast furnaces. With the industry's growing emphasis on curbing carbon emissions, the direct reduction of iron is now gaining traction as a sought-after technology for steel production. The world's largest steelmakers are turning to it when designing their new production facilities.
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