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ME Elecmetal Building Foundry in China

May 3, 2012
Mining products specialist plans 30,000 mtpy of specialty steel castings

ME Elecmetal, the ferrous foundry group that specializes in producing castings for grinding and crushing equipment used in mining operations, has a $45-million plan to build a specialty steel foundry at Changzhou, in China’s Jiangsu province. The site is about 800 miles northwest of Shanghai, and 600 miles south of Beijing.

Construction will begin in the third quarter of this year, with start-up for the new plant planned for the fourth quarter of 2013. The stated capacity is 30,000 metric tons/year of specialty steel castings for use as mill liners. ME Elecmetal said the products would be supplied for equipment used in hard-rock mining and milling in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Changzhou facility will allow us to more quickly respond to our existing and potential customer base in the Asia Pacific region,” stated ME Elecmetal president Andy Fulton. “The liner facility, coupled with our joint-venture ball plant, offers a strong manufacturing platform to achieve our goal of being the preferred provider of total grinding solutions to this expanding market.”

ME Elecmetal produces “engineered impact- and abrasion-resistant castings” used for crushing and milling in mining operations. Headquartered in Minneapolis, it has foundries in Duluth, MN, and Tempe, AZ, and a licensee producing in Mexico. An affiliate, Elecmetal SA, operates similar foundries in Santiago and Rancagua, Chile. All of these companies are holdings of the Santiago, Chile-based Claro Group, a conglomerate with holdings in various industries.

Last year ME Elecmetal formed a venture with Long Teng Special Steel Co. Ltd. to build a foundry to produce grinding balls in China. ME Long Teng Grinding Media (Changshu) Co., Ltd. was designed and engineered by ME Elecmetal and markets grinding media worldwide under the ME Super SAG and ME Ultra Grind brand names. Owned equally by ME Elecmetal and Long Teng Special Steel Co. Ltd., the two partners plan to expand the foundry’s capacity to 370,000 metric tons annually.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)