Russian steelmaker OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works today celebrates the 85th anniversary of the launch of its Magnitogorsk mill.

On 1 February 1932 the mill’s first blast-furnace produced its first batch of pig iron and the date has come to be celebrated as marking the launch of MMK – one of Russia's and the world's largest metal facilities.

Over the past 85 years, MMK has mined more than 430Mt of ore, produced more than 700Mt of sinter, 614Mt of pig iron, 791Mt of steel, and 633Mt of finished metal products. If all the steel it produced over this time was set out in sheet form, 0.5 mm thick, it would cover around 200,000 square metres – an area larger than Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland combined.

To celebrate, MMK is holding a number of special events in Magnitogorsk to thank current and former employees.

The company claims to have always been the flagship of the metals industry in Russia. On its launch in 1932, it was the largest metal mill in the world. It also played a major role during World War II supplying the steel needed as armour for every second Soviet tank, and in the production of every third shell.

In the late 1990s, MMK invested heavily in the upgrading of its production facilities. State-of-the-art high-efficiency production facilities focused on producing highly-competitive metal products for both domestic and international markets.The company's steelmaking facilities were radically updated. The long product rolling mill was restored, modern facilities for producing galvanised and polymer-coated metal were built and over the past decade, MMK launched a thick plate mill and a new cold-rolling mill (Mill 2000) to produce cold-rolled and galvanised steel for the automotive industry.

In 2016, the company produced over 12.5Mt of crude steel and more than 11.3Mt of commercial steel products.

MMK Group sales in 2015 were US$ 5.8 million and EBITDA of US$ 1.6 million.