Russia’s Metalloinvest, the country’s largest iron ore producer, said it had signed four-year supply contracts with domestic steelmaker NLMK for a total of 21.6Mt of iron ore pellets.

The contract will allow for stable pellet supply to NLMK’s production facilities in Lipetsk, it said. Pellets to NLMK’s plant at Novolipetsk will be delivered from Metalloinvest’s Lebedinsky and Mikhailovsky mining and processing plants less than 400km from Lipetsk, the company added.

NLMK plans to boost production capacity by 40% to 17Mt/y by launching a new 3.4Mt/y blast furnace this year at Novolipetsk, it said.