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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lack of Iron Forces MMK Slowdown

Magnitogorsky Metal & Iron Works, or MMK, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, closed one of its eight furnaces on Monday because of a shortage of iron ore pellets.

Another two furnaces will be shut by June 10 if the crisis is not resolved, spokeswoman Yelena Azovtseva said by telephone.

Mikhailovsky GOK, which had supplied 15 percent of Magnitogorsky's iron ore, stopped supplying the raw material after a contract dispute.

Kazakh miner Sokolovsk-Sarbai GOK, which had supplied 70 percent of Magnitogorsky's iron ore, halted supplies on May 9.

Iron pellets make up half of the 1 million tons per month of iron-based raw materials that Magnitogorsky uses.

"We have some stocks, as any steel mill does, I can't say how big they are," said Azovtseva.

She said Magnitogorsky was seeking supplies from Karelsky Pellet and Poltavsky GOK.