March 2022
The CIS is expected to produce 204Mt of iron ore in 2022, up 1.8% year on year, despite the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The iron ore production in the region comes mainly from three countries: Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Particularly, Russia accounts for an estimated 4.5% of the global iron ore, while Ukraine has a 3% share.


Russia is expected to produce ~111Mt of iron ore in 2022, an increase of 2.8% year on year. The major iron ore producers include Metalloinvest, EVRAZ Group, Novolipetsk (NLMK) and Severstal.



Metalloinvest owns Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK, the two largest iron ore mining and processing facilities (by production volume) in Russia. The company is developing the world’s second-largest iron ore deposits, with Proven Reserves of around 13.9bn tonnes, according to JORC international classifications. At current mining levels, this guarantees approximately 137 years of reserve life.

Metalloinvest is the world’s leading producer of merchant HBI, the second-largest producer of pellets, one of the world’s leading producers of commercial iron ore and the largest iron ore company in Russia and the CIS.

The company is a global-scale producer of beneficiated iron ore products, processing the majority of its primary iron ore concentrate products into high-value-added products such as iron ore pellet and HBI/DRI.

Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK develop deposits located in one of the world’s largest iron ore basins, the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. The basin mainly consists of magnetic ore with an average iron level of 34–39%.

Metalloinvest is also the largest producer of merchant DRI, and plans to add a 2Mtpa DRI/HBI plant at MGOK to capitalise on its upgraded pellet products. From 2024, the company will have the ability to produce concentrate, BF grade pellets, DR grade pellets and HBI at all its mining complexes. In the meantime, MGOK’s DR grade pellets will likely be sold on the merchant market and used by the company’s other facilities as required. The company is expected to produce ~40Mt of iron ore in 2022.


Novolipetsk (NLMK)

NLMK is one of the four largest steel companies in Russia. Its Stoilensky GOK (SGOK) is one of the country's three leading mining companies. It develops one of the largest deposits of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly (KMA). The SGOK complex includes an iron ore mine, concentrator and pellet plant in Belgorod Province, 500km south of Moscow. It is located 250km southwest of NLMK's main steel operations centre in Lipetsk. SGOK’s main products are iron ore concentrate, sinter ore and iron ore pellets.

Stoilensky is one of the most profitable mining companies in the world, combining high performance, low operating costs and high-quality products. AME expects SGOK to produce ~19Mt of iron ore in 2022.



Evraz is a vertically integrated steel and iron ore company with operations mainly in Russia. A significant portion of its consumption of iron ore and coking coal is supplied through its mining operations. These include enterprises such as Evrazruda and EVRAZ KGOK (Kachkanar mining and processing plant). The latter is one of five key mining companies and is the only producer of vanadium iron ore in Russia. The vanadium content from the Gusevogorskoe deposit is used to produce high-strength steel. The company is expected to produce 15Mt of iron ore in 2022.

EVRAZ KGOK is the Group’s core mining asset. It is located in the Urals, 140km from the primary consumer of its products, EVRAZ NTMK. EVRAZ KGOK mines titanomagnetite iron ore, which contains vanadium, meaning that it can be used to produce high-strength grades of alloy steel. EVRAZ KGOK mines ore from three open pits and then processes the ore in its crushing, processing, sintering and pelletising plants. The final product, in the form of sinter and pellets, is shipped by railcar to consumers, including those abroad.

EVRAZ ZSMK includes several mining and processing facilities in Siberia. Most of the iron ore that it produces is consumed internally by its steelmaking operations. It uses underground mining methods, and its mining complex includes three mines, a limestone quarry, and a concentration and sinter plant.



Severstal is a Russian company mainly operating in the steel and mining industry, headquartered in Cherepovets. The company owns Karelsky Okatysh and Yakovlevsky GOK, two iron ore mining and processing plants in Russia, with an estimated combined production of ~11.7Mt in 2022.



Ukraine is expected to produce ~70Mt of iron ore in 2022, flat year on year. The country’s major iron ore and pellet producers include Metinvest, Ferrexpo, and Yuzhny GOK operations.



Metinvest is an international, vertically integrated mining and metals company. The group comprises mining and metallurgical assets in Ukraine, Europe and the US, complemented by a global sales network. Metinvest manages the complete production chain, from extracting iron ore and coal to manufacturing semi-finished and finished steel products. With assets close to key railway lines and ports, The company owns the Ingulets GOK, Northern GOK and Central GOK operations in Ukraine.

Metinvest has upgraded its Centralniy plant to produce DR grade pellets as pellet producers look to capitalise on the shortage in this segment of the market which has existed since the Samarco incident. This will open up new markets for the company, as these products will likely be sold to the Middle East, which is the largest merchant market for DR grade pellets. The company is expected to produce 32.5Mt of iron ore in 2021.



Ferrexpo is a Ukrainian iron ore pellet producer and the world's third-largest exporter of iron ore pellets. The company is based in the Poltava region of central Ukraine and has the largest iron ore deposit in Europe as an asset base. The deposit contains over 5.5bn tonnes of JORC-classified Mineral Resources and a further 13bn tonnes of resources for mineral deposits, classified by the GKZ reporting code. Primary operations consist of two open-pit mines and an associated pellet processing facility. The pellets are mostly 65% Fe, with a small minority being 62% Fe.

Ferrexpo issued force majeure notices to some of its customers at the end of February 2022, stating that it has had to suspend pellet shipping due to the temporary suspension of export activities at the port of Pivdennyi. The company said that mining and processing operations near the city of Horishni Plavni in central Ukraine continue to operate. However, logistics networks are facing ongoing disruption.

The company is expected to produce ~14Mt of iron ore in 2022.


Yuzhny GOK

Yuzhny GOK is an integrated iron ore mining and processing complex in Ukraine. It is located in the southern part of Kryvyi Rih city. The operation was previously owned by the Smart Group (49.5%) and Lanebrook Limited (50.5%), an affiliate of Russia’s EVRAZ Group. In July 2014, Metinvest acquired 49.5% of Yuzhny GOK through the purchase of the interest held by the Smart Group. AME estimates that the operation will produce ~12.5Mt of iron ore in 2022.



Kazakhstan is expected to produce ~16.5Mt of iron ore in 2022, flat year on year. Kazakhstan’s iron ore production is dominated by Eurasian Group (ERG), with the balance coming from ArcelorMittal’ Kazakhstan operations.


Eurasian Group

EGR is one of the world’s leading diversified mining and smelting groups, with fully integrated mining, processing, energy production, logistical and marketing operations.

ERG’s Sokolov-Sarbai Mining Production Association (SSGPO) is located in northern Kazakhstan near the town of Rudni, which was established to support the mining operations, and is located approximately 45km southwest of Kostanai.

ERG’s SSGPO iron ore operations are also looking to produce higher-grade pellets as the company chases higher margins. ERG is looking to install magnetic-gravity separators at its concentration facilities, which would allow the company to increase its product grade from 65% Fe to 67% Fe. Although ERG has not specifically mentioned the DR grade market, pellets of this quality are most likely to end up with DRI producers. The company is expected to produce ~15Mt of iron ore in 2022.