Severstal, Russia’s second largest steelmaker, will invest about $1.5bn to $2bn/y to raise output and mine more raw materials, feeding its own plants while expanding sales at home and abroad.

It is seeking to almost triple iron-ore output from last year to 38.2Mt by 2020 as it starts mining in Latin America and Africa, the company said.

Coking-coal volumes will rise to 17.9Mt from 7.3Mt, helping Severstal increase steel output by a third to 19.6Mt it said.

The company has snapped up iron ore deposits in Brazil and West Africa as it seeks to counter rising raw-material costs.

After selling three unprofitable steel mills in the US in March and separating its Italian Lucchini unit last year, Severstal has followed competitors in tapping emerging markets, where demand growth has outpaced expansion elsewhere.

The company agreed in December to form a joint venture with NMDC Ltd in India, Severstal and NMDC have agreed to invest $3.1bn to build a steel plant in the southern state of Karnataka.

In May, Severstal agreed to buy 25% of SPG Mineracao, which owns iron-ore exploration licences in northern Brazil and has an option to buy a further 50%.

It also controls an iron-ore project in Liberia.