Lorain Pig Iron, LLC Engaging Technical Service Providers for the Recommissioning of Republic Steel’s Blast Furnace 4

LORAIN, Ohio--()--Lorain Pig Iron, LLC (“LPI”) announced it is engaging technical service providers necessary to review and submit proposals for the recommissioning of Republic Steel’s Blast Furnace 4 (“BF4”) in Lorain, Ohio. LPI is expected to commence the production of pig iron at BF4 before the end of 2018. BF4 will be recommissioned in partnership with the United Steel Workers and is expected to produce and distribute over 1.0 million tons of pig iron annually to customers within the United States.

LPI is jointly owned and operated by Republic Steel and ERP Iron Ore, LLC (“ERPI”). Republic Steel is headquartered in Ohio and is one of the largest producers of Special Bar Quality (SBQ) steel. ERPI is a Minnesota-based iron ore producer with the capacity to produce 3.5 million tons of iron ore pellets annually. Upon completion of construction of the Mesabi Metallics Company LLC (“Mesabi”) pellet plant in Nashwauk, MN and the integration of the ERPI and Mesabi business, the group will produce a total of 10.5 million tons of pellets per year.

LPI is negotiating agreements with Republic Steel and other parties for the recommissioning and use of BF4. Additionally, LPI is commencing an evaluation of recommissioning Republic Steel’s Blast Furnace 3 (“BF3”) to increase pig iron production from Lorain to over 2.0 million tons annually.

LPI seeks to introduce a new beginning in U.S. steelmaking, where its U.S. blast furnaces will provide pig iron for the growing production of “Electric Arc Furnace” steel and foundries. LPI will fully integrate its affiliated metallurgical coal mines, coke batteries, and iron ore mines as it proudly reintroduces merchant pig iron production to North America.

About Republic Steel

Republic Steel traces its roots back to 1886, with the establishment of Berger Manufacturing Co. in Canton, Ohio. Berger later became part of Republic Steel Corp., the sprawling steelmaker organized by financier Cyrus Eaton in 1930. Throughout the 1900s, Republic's steel was instrumental in fighting a war and building a nation. Its steel bar products were instrumental in developing America's automotive, agricultural and aerospace industries.

In 1984, Republic Steel merged with LTV Corp.'s Jones & Laughlin division to form LTV Steel. In 1989, an employee stock ownership plan bought LTV's steel bar division and renamed it Republic Engineered Steels, marking one of the largest employee ownership transactions in industrial history. In 1998, RES and Bar Technologies combined to form Republic Technologies International, which approximately one year later acquired the steel bar business of USS/KOBE Steel in Lorain, Ohio.

The Lorain facility, located along the Black River, has a rich history dating back to 1895, when Thomas Johnson constructed the Johnson Steel Street Rail Company mill in just 10 months. Throughout its history, the plant has operated under several names, including Johnson Steel, Lorain Steel, National Tube Company of U.S. Steel and Lorain Cuyahoga Works of U.S. Steel, before becoming USS/KOBE in 1989.

Republic Steel now operates the best steel bar and other steel making facilities of these companies and is well positioned to write its own promising history. The company was acquired in July 2005 by Industrias CH, S.A de C.V. (ICH), a rapidly growing steel producer and processor based in Mexico City. Republic Steel is a subsidiary of Grupo Simec, Guadalajara, Mexico, of which ICH is the majority owner. The company's strategic alliance with ICH is helping strengthen its relationships with customers expanding in Mexico and South America.

About ERP Iron Ore, LLC

ERP Iron Ore, LLC is affiliated with a consortium of mining and industrial assets producing coke, coking coal, and iron ore. ERP affiliates have successfully reopened mining operations throughout North America and are now the second largest producer of coking coal in North America, with run-rate production of 10.6 mntpa. ERP acquired the former Magnetation LLC (“Magnetation”) assets with three iron ore beneficiation plants located in and adjacent to Grand Rapids, Minnesota and a state of the art Metso pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana capable of producing 3.5 mmtpa. Mesabi emerged from bankruptcy on December 22, 2017 under the ownership of ERP affiliate Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC (Chippewa). Chippewa provided $250 million of equity capital to sponsor Mesabi’s reorganization and for completion of a 7.0 mmtpa Metso pellet plant in Nashwauk, Minnesota. The Magnetation and Mesabi assets represent over $2.6 billion of recently invested capital with future capacity to produce 10.5 million mmtpa of the highest quality iron ore pellets.

Contacts

Republic Steel
Ted Thielens, 330-903-8866
or
ERP Iron Ore, LLC
Mike Luther, 402-250-4560