By Min Zhang and Tom Daly
BEIJING, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining giant Vale SA VALE3.SA said on Tuesday it has started producing high-grade iron ore fines for pelletizing at its new grinding hub with China's Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group (NZP Group) in eastern Zhejiang province.
The hub, located in the Shulanghu Ore Transfer Terminal in Zhoushan city, has three production lines and an annual capacity of three million tonnes of ground iron ore fines, Vale said in a statement.
The new product, known as GF88, is based on Vale's flagship Carjas IOCJ 65%-iron fines, and will be used to feed growing demand for pellets in China's mammoth steel sector, according to the miner.
"It enjoys high iron content, low impurities and low loss-on-ignition characteristics," Marcello Spinelli, Executive Director of Ferrous Minerals of Vale, said in the statement.
China, the world's top steel producer has been looking to minimize pollution in its heavy industry. The use of pellets in steelmaking can cut emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
Vale is the biggest producer of pellets and pellet feed in the world. It teamed up with NZP Group in 2016 to produce Brazilian Blended Fines and signed an agreement to launch the GF88 in December last year.
China's iron ore imports have surged in recent months, htting a record in July, as the economy bounced back from disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, while domestic prices DCIOcv1 have jumped over 60% this year.
(Reporting by Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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