On the eve of Steelworker Day, Vladimir Putin visited the Lebedinsky GOK ore dressing plant that is celebrating its 50th anniversary and watched the launch of the third sponge iron production shop.

The President visited the viewing platform of Lebedinsky GOK, learned about the production process and observed the launch of the new shop via video link in the presence of the heads of the plant and the region.

Lebedinsky GOK is Russia’s and the CIS’s largest enterprise for the extraction and enrichment of iron ore and the production of high-quality iron ore raw materials and metal resources.

The plant is the only producer of sponge iron in Russia and the CIS It is developing an iron ore deposit by open-pit mining. The deposit’s confirmed reserves amount to 3.9 billion tonnes.

The first shop for the production of sponge iron reached its design capacity in 2001. The second shop was launched in 2007. Construction and assembly work started in 2014 on the third shop with a capacity of up to 1.8 million tonnes a year.

Sponge iron is used in the production of steel. Its distinctive feature is a low content of harmful admixtures and stable homogeneity of the chemical composition.

The President also met with plant workers.

Lebedinsky GOK.
Lebedinsky GOK. Photo Kremlin Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: All I wanted to say is greetings on your double or rather a triple celebration.

The first is the launch of a new modern and very efficient facility. It expands the opportunities of your plant and consolidates its leading positions in the world market.

Secondly, I would like to congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of your plant. This is also a great holiday.

And, thirdly, I would like to congratulate you and all of your colleagues on the approaching holiday, Steelworker Day. I wish you all the best!

We could end our meeting at this point, but since we are having this meeting, I will be happy to talk to you and answer the questions that you are bound to have, if I can answer them, of course.

If not, I will ask for help from your Governor, the Minister [Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov] and the director of your plant.

So, the more questions you address to them the better for all of us because they will do a more competent job. That said, I will also do my best.