Shandong Iron & Steel Group is a leading steelmaker in China. In 2019, the Group produced almost 28 million tonnes of crude steel, ranking it the 11th largest steelmaker in the world.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
2008: Shandong Steel established in 2008 from merger of Jinan & Laiwu.
2009: Acquires 67% ownership stake in Rizhao Iron and Steel.
2011: Shansteel buys 25% equity stake in Tonkolili Iron Ore.
2015: Acquires remaining 75% ownership stake in Tonkolili Iron Ore.
2017: Agrees plate mill upgrade after relocation to Rizhao.
2017: Completes closure of all production lines at Jigang subsidiary.
2019: Slab casters CC4 and CC5 moved from Jinan to coastal site at Rizhao.
2019: Sierra Leone cancels Shandong mining licence.
2020: Shandong Steel disengages from iron ore mining in Sierra Leone.
2020: Issues $500m bonds with 6.5% coupon maturing in 2023.
2008: Shandong Iron & Steel Group is also known as Shansteel. Jinan Iron & Steel Co Ltd was owned by the Jigang Group Co Ltd.
2008: Jinan I&S was a Chinese producer of flat and long products including plate and rebar and light sections. In 2007, Jinan produced ~12.1 million tonnes of liquid steel and was the 24th largest steelmaker in the world.
Laiwu was a producer of pig iron, billet and ingot. In 2007, it also produced ~12 mt crude steel and was the 25th largest global steelmaker. At this point, Rizhao Steel was the world's 50th largest steelmaker, producing ~6 mt/year of crude steel output.
2009: A financial and operational restructuring of assets of Jinan Iron and Steel, Laiwu Iron & Steel and Rizhao I&S followed, with the resulting creation of the Shandong Steel Group Rizhao Co Ltd. Restructuring included plans for relocation of the production assets from inland to coastal locations (although much of this relocation to preferred sites such as Rizhao did not take place for some years).
2011: UK-based African Minerals (AML) commences iron ore production at Tonkolili Iron Ore.
2015: The purchase of 75% of the Tonkolili iron ore project in Sierra Leone was from African Minerals (AML), after AML got into serious financial difficulties in late 2014. Upon completion of this purchase, Shansteel would own 100% of the Tonkolili iron ore mine and a port railway service firm.
Tonkolili iron ore at this time [with 12.8 billion tonnes of JORC-compliant iron ore resources] was the second-biggest iron mine in Africa.
2019: Relocated slab casters CC4 and CC5 were originally supplied by Danieli in 2007. After their relocation, the plan was for these casters to produce slab for shipbuilding, weather-resistant linepipe and pressure vessel applications.
2019: The government of Sierra Leone in August 2019 cancelled or suspended the licences of several big mining projects, including the Tonkolili and Marampa iron ore mines. Tonkolili challenged this decision in the country’s high court, arguing that the grounds to justify the cancellation of its licences were invalid as it had paid all requisite fees and royalties. [The Marampa iron ore mine is owned by the Gerald Group.
Gerald Group is one of the world's oldest and largest independent and employee-owned metal trading houses. Founded in 1962 in the United States, it is headquartered in London].
2020: Press reports in September 2020 indicated that China's Kingho Mining took over the Tonkolili Iron Ore mining operations in Sierra Leone, following Shandong Steel's disengagement from these operations.