Tailings treatment complex at the iron ore refinery

Republic of Karelia, Kostomuksha

Construction Time

9 months
July 2014 - April 2015

Step Services
Total Area
2400 sq. m
STEP has completed the first phase of the construction of a tailings treatment complex at the Karelsky Okatysh mining and processing plant (part of Severstal).

As part of the first phase, STEP assembled bored piles, prepared and installed supporting steel structures and erected two Outotec thickeners with a 35.6 meter diameter. Work began in late July 2014. The construction area covered 2.4 thousand square meters.

Dmitry Gershon, STEP managing partner and director of the mining department, explained that thickening tailings at iron and steel plants is a state-of-the-art technology which allows liquid to be extracted from tailings (ore processing byproducts) to decrease their volume during storage and to reduce energy costs associated with transporting tailings and recycled water. "The application of this technology will reduce tailing transportation energy costs by 10-15%. This method of dealing with waste helps to maintain the low cost of iron ore pellet production, which is important given the fall in the market price for raw materials," he said.

"Completion of the tailings treatment plant at Karelsky Okatysh could be considered a step forwards in tailings storage green technology, which underlines how seriously Severstal takes its responsibilities regarding the region's environment and understands the importance of environmental management," said Dmitry Gershon.

Karelsky Okatysh is located in the Republic of Karelia in northwest Russia. Since 1999, it has been part of the mining division of Severstal. It currently ranks third in Russia in terms of the production of iron ore pellets. The company produces iron ore pellets with an iron content of 64-66%, which are products with high added value, since they can be directly used in blast furnaces without intermediate sintering. The main consumer of Karelsky Okatysh products is the Severstal steel plant in Cherepovets (Vologda Region). Some of the products are exported to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and China.

This is not the first Severstal project that STEP has been involved in. Previously, the company built for this customer the Gestamp Severstal automotive components production plant and the Severstal-Mitsui steel service center in Vsevolozhsk district, Leningrad region, as well as several air separation units for a joint venture with Air Liquide, and the Rutgers Severtar pitch storage facility at Cherepovets Steel Mill.

"Construction of the complex at Karelsky Okatysh is not only a continuation of our successful cooperation with one of our regular customers, but also the logical development of our mining construction department. At the end of 2013, we completed the construction of the iron ore refinery at the Belaya Gora gold deposit in Khabarovsk Region. Currently we are in negotiations and are participating in tenders for several new projects in Leningrad Region, and in remote regions such as Sverdlovsk Region, Zabaykalsky Region, Kamchatka, etc," added Dmitry Gershon.

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