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Our research and development, design and experimental, as well as engineering efforts are mainly focused on:

  • àidentifying strategic development areas, such as improved product quality, deepened integration and enhanced performance of operations, and development of new products and assessment of their performance
  • addressing R&D challenges related to the environmental and occupational safety within the Company’s operations
  • raising production efficiency through improved equipment and process units, automated processes, higher equipment productivity, and streamlined costs
R&D, feasibility studies, and production-related science and technology services in 2017
Topic 1
Strategic development
Topic 2
Environment and occupational safety
Topic 3
Production efficiency improvements
  • Pilot tests conducted on input ore charge and iron ore concentrate at high-pressure rollers showed that rollers are highly efficient in increasing the specific surface area of concentrate
  • An automated system has been designed and commissioned to measure the actual level of metal and the thickness of the mould flux layer in the mould
  • Laboratory tests have demonstrated that multi-metal ores from the Novokievskoye deposit can be used to reduce nickel consumption in steelmaking; pilot tests have been planned
  • Reports on the Olkhovatka water intake project have been received from experts, and disease control and prevention authorities
  • Technical projects for underground water resource development at the existing water intake facilities of JSC Lebedinsky GOK have been completed to meet the requirements of the Federal Law On Subsoil Resources
  • A draft version of standards for the maximum allowable emissions of pollutants has been prepared for PJSC Mikhailovsky GOK, and a license for harmful (pollutant) emissions was obtained for the period between 25 January 2018 to 23 January 2025
  • An approval of standards for waste volume and disposal limits has been obtained for PJSC Mikhailovsky GOK for the period between 15 May 2017 and 15 May 2022
  • An integrated system has been proposed to monitor the condition of loose rock in waste dumps from stripping operations so as to obtain reliable information on rock strains in critical areas to forecast and prevent deformation processes during the use of loose rock waste dumps
  • An industrial prototype of a diagnostic trolley has been received to monitor compliance with temperature and timing requirements for the heat treatment of iron ore pellets
  • Construction materials have continued to be selected for the fabrication of armour plates and grates at JSC Lebedinsky GOK’s semi-autogenous grinding mills
  • Engineering solutions have been designed and implemented to increase the durability of continuous casting machine (CCM) rollers, thereby doubling the period of time between repairs

Key Achievements in R&D and
Product Range Expansion

Lebedinsky GOK
  • Shipments of high-quality iron ore concentrate with anincreased iron content and lowered silicon content have been expanded
  • The current industrial prototype of a diagnostic trolley monitors compliance with the temperature and timing requirements to the heat treatment of pellets to stabilise iron ore pellet quality and supply consumers with highquality iron ore products
Mikhailovsky GOK
  • The commissioning of the intake unit for additionally beneficiated high-quality concentrate at Lebedinsky GOK has enabled the Company to launch commercial production of an expanded range of iron ore pellets, including fluxed and non-fluxed pellets with the required base-to-acid ratio
  • The Company continued developing an efficient technology that ensures comprehensive processing of mineral feedstock with complex compositions from the Mikhailovsky deposit and re-extraction of the target mineral from hard-to-process ores
  • Geological mapping of oxidised ferruginous quartzite (FQ) deposits has been conducted. A block model of FQ process grades beneficiated using a streamlined process flow has been built
  • R&D activities have been intensified to increase the competitiveness of iron ore products by reducing the content of silicon oxide in the finished product
OEMK
  • Research is being conducted to develop algorithms streamlining the production process for metallised products
  • The Company is expanding its product line through additional sections and sizes, developing new steel grades, and improving heat treatment parameters for rolled products. A total of 39 new steel grades were developed in 2017
  • Research is also being conducted to improve steel quality and the efficiency of using equipment parts and assemblies
  • Metalloinvest introduced a system measuring the actual level of metal and thickness of the mould flux layer in the CCM’s mould – the first of its kind in Russia
Ural Steel
  • Ural Steel’s R&D efforts are focused on the ongoing development and implementation of improved heat treatment methods for rolled products and other highpotential areas, engaging both in-house Ural Steel experts as well as external research experts
  • New grades of flat-rolled steel have been designed, including through the Company’s cooperation with PJSC ChelPipe
  • The scope of certification of flat-rolled steel fabricated under the supervision of the Russian Maritime Registry of Shipping has been expanded
  • The plant is introducing new types of products, such as rail blooms for Aktobe Rail and Section Works, Kazakhstan, and railway wheel billets for Vyksa Steel Works


Cooperation with Research and Engineering Centres

Given the scale and complexity of its processes, Metalloinvest cooperates with major research and expert institutions, research universities, and research and industrial enterprises.

Metalloinvest cooperated with a number of Russian R&D institutions and universities in 2017, including:

  • LLC NPVP TOREX (Yekaterinburg, part of Metalloinvest)
  • Stary Oskol branch of the National University of Science and Technology MISiS (Stary Oskol)
  • LLC MIPT Centre for Engineering and Technology of Hardto- Recover Reserves (Moscow)
  • I.P. Bardin Central Research Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy (Moscow)
  • OJSC VIOGEM (Belgorod)
  • НФ НИТУ «МИСиС» (г. Новотроицк);
  • Novotroitsk branch of the National University of Science and Technology MISiS (Novotroitsk)
  • LLC City Institution for Designing Metallurgical Plants (Moscow, part of Metalloinvest)
  • Mosty Research Centre (Moscow)
  • JSC VUKHIN (Yekaterinburg)
  • CJSC KORAD (Moscow)
  • компания DOBERSEK ENGINERING GmbH и др.

In collaboration with mining plant specialists, NPVP TOREX launched extensive research in 2017 to design new binding and flux strengthening additives that reduce silicone dioxide in finished products while retaining high metallurgic properties in iron ore products.

OEMK and Ugarov Stary Oskol Technological Institute (a Stary Oskol branch of the National University of Science and Technology MISiS) have begun establishing a steelmaking laboratory at OEMK. The lab launch will enable Metalloinvest to reduce the costs and speed up the development of new high-quality steel grades.

The laboratory’s core facility will be a vacuum induction furnace with a maximum load of 60 kg, which will enable small-batch pilot melting currently impracticable in OEMK’s 150-tonne furnaces. The first test melt has already been carried out in the new furnace.

The steelmaking laboratory’s environment provides for the production of special steels and complex alloys. Vacuum treatment removes hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen impurities, as well as base metal micro-impurities to produce high-purity metal which meets the requirements for specialty steels.

During 2017, 32 research projects commissioned by Metalloinvest were completed, and another 22 close to completion.