Developing modern mines
Ferrexpo takes pride in investing for the future, in the form of modern training facilities for its workforce, through to modern technology deployed across the Group's operations. By utilising modern methods throughout its business, the Group aims to further improve safety standards, increase productivity, reduce carbon and enhance the Group's resilience for the benefit of future generations.
On this page, the role of technology is discussed, which is being deployed throughout the Ferrexpo business. Please click the tabs below to learn more about the technology that Ferrexpo is investing in each aspect of the Ferrexpo business to drive further improvements.
Ferrexpo is proud to have been the first mine in Europe to deploy large scale haul trucks when it successfully tested its fully autonomous CAT793D trucks at Yeristovo in late 2020. Through adopting autonomy in its mining fleet, which also includes the semi-autonomous drill rigs deployed in 2017 and drone surveys in 2018, this technology removes individuals from hazardous working environments and is helping to improve safety standards. Looking ahead in terms of mining technology, Ferrexpo intends to automate all 12 CAT793D haul trucks that it has at Yeristovo, in addition to implementing fully autonomous drill rigs and a trolley-assist network to enable haul trucks to exit the Group's mines without consuming diesel.
Video: Unveiling Europe's first large scale autonomous trucks
In 2020, the Group completed its latest investment in its beneficiation plant, which is set to provide additional processing capacity, which has enabled greater output of concentrate, which in turn feeds the Group's pelletiser. This programme, referred to as Section 9, comprises of a state of the art grinding and magnetic separation complex to process an additional 5-6 million tonnes of magnetite ore. This beneficiation upgrade is set to feed the Group's next expansion programme at its pelletiser, whereby the Group is adopting modern technology to improve the productivity of each pelletiser line.
In the Group's pelletiser, through modifications to the pre-heating system prior to concentrate entering each pelletiser kiln, the Group expects to improve the productivity of each line in the pelletiser, with this work completed in 2021. In addition, Ferrexpo is able to take advantage of Ukraine being one of the world's largest producers of sunflower oil. Sunflower husks are an abundant waste product of this process, and since 2015, Ferrexpo has utilised these husks as a replacement for natural gas in its pelletiser, replacing 18% of the Group's energy needs in the pelletiser in 2021 (2020: 25%). For further information on how Ferrexpo is utilising biofuels in its pelletiser to reduce its reliance on natural gas and cut carbon emissions, please click here.
Through investment in the Group's loading facilities and berth at the port of Pivdennyi in South West Ukraine, the Group has been able to load successively larger vessels since listing in 2007. Following listing, the Group predominantly loaded Panamax vessels with a capability of carrying approximately 120,000 tonnes of pellets. Through investment in the Group's transhipment loading vessel, Iron Destiny, the Group began loading Capesize vessels (typically 160,000 tonnes of cargo) in 2011. Following further upgrades at Pivdenny, the Group successfully loaded a Newcastlemax carrier (typically 185,000 tonnes) for a single customer in 2021.