Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- IRC Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed affiliate of gold miner Petropavlovsk Plc, seeks to add Russian iron ore customers to diversify from Chinese sales, said founder Pavel Maslovskiy.
“We are avoiding off-take agreements with Chinese companies in order not to tie ourselves to a single customer,” Maslovskiy, an emeritus director at IRC, said in an interview in Moscow. “We want our product to be used in Russia and are in talks with steelmaker Amurmetall.”
Amurmetall, the only steelmaker in Russia’s Far East, produces steel from scrap and is upgrading its facilities with funds from VEB, the state development bank, according to the company’s website. The upgrade will allow the steelmaker to use iron ore concentrate or direct reduced iron, buying 1 to 2 million metric tons of product a year from IRC, Maslovskiy said.
IRC, which operates mines in Russia’s eastern Amur region near the border with China, produced more than 800,000 tons of iron ore last year. The company targets fivefold production growth to about 4.5 million tons in 2014 after starting its flagship K&S mine at the end of next year, Executive Chairman Jay Hambro said Jan. 12.
Amurmetall’s press office wasn’t immediately available for comment when Bloomberg News called.
--With assistance from Yuriy Humber in Tokyo. Editors: Torrey Clark, Tony Barrett
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