Steel Dynamics, Inc. announced that it is moving forward with the Mesabi Nugget iron-making project at Hoyt Lakes, Minn. This plant will be the world’s first commercial iron-making facility to use the ITmk3® process, which is an iron-nugget production technology pioneered by Kobe Steel. The project will involve the construction of a $235 million iron-nugget manufacturing facility utilizing iron-ore concentrate, coal and natural gas. It is expected to produce 500,000 metric tons annually of iron nuggets – a key raw material for steel production. Expected start-up will be in the second quarter of 2009.

Steel Dynamics plans to invest $85 million in equity in the venture and to hold an 81% equity interest, while Kobe Steel plans to invest $20 million in equity for an equity stake of 19%. Steel Dynamics anticipates that substantially all of the iron output from the plant will be consumed in its mini-mills.