Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works

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OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
ОАО Магнитогорский металлургический комбинат
Type Public (OAO)
Traded as MCXMAGN
Industry Steel
Headquarters Magnitogorsk, Russia
Key people Boris Aleksandrovich Dubrovsky[1] (Chairman)
Products Steel
Steel products
Revenue Increase US$9.3 billion (2012)
Net income Decrease - US$91.0 million (2012)

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (Russian: Магнитогорский металлургический комбинат, Magnitogorskiy Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat), abbreviated as MMK, is the third largest steel company in Russia. It is located in the city of Magnitogorsk, in Chelyabinsk Oblast.

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works is also known for being one of the major sponsors of the new Kontinental Hockey League.[citation needed]

History of Magnitogorsk mining[edit]

The Beloretsk and Tirlyansk facilities and Magnetic Mountain were owned by Pashkov until 1877, after which the factories and mines were sold for equity, the largest shareholder of which was the German-Belgian firm Wogau and Ko.. The new owners restored the factories and the utilization of cheap labor significantly increased the extraction of ore. In the late 19th – early 20th century, production reached 2.3 million tons per year. In some periods (in summer) the Magnetic Mountain had a workforce in excess of 2500 people. This figure was not extraordinary as ore mining was still conducted manually.[2]

At the end of the 19th century, by order of the Ministry of Finance, this area of the Urals was examined by a government commission headed by Professor Dmitri Mendeleev. In July 1899, representatives of a government commission arrived in the area of the Magnetic Mountains. Peter Zemyatchenski, a Member of the Mendelian Commission and a Professor of Mineralogy, made calculations that figured the minimal estimate of ore reserves in the magnetic component to be over one billion pounds. This was the first attempt to analyze the mountain, but more detailed examination demonstrated that the Magnetic Mountains contain three billion pounds.[citation needed]

These findings were later confirmed by geological surveys conducted in 1911-12 under the direction of Professor Alexander Zavaritskii. According to his calculations (also very rough) the Magnetic Mountain was estimated to hold ore reserves of 5.3 billion pounds. In the period 1917 -1918, Professor Vladimir Bauman and Ivan Bakhurin conducted a magnetometer survey of the field, which allowed the review of the ore reserves of the Magnetic Mountain and put an estimate at 6-7 or even 10 billion pounds. [3]

History of MMK[edit]

In May 1925 in Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) design and construction of the Magnitogorsk factory began. In November 1926, the Presidium of the Ural Regional SNH approved the construction site for the factory - the site of Magnetic Mountain. In December 1928, the Technical Council of the National Institute of Design of Metallurgical Factories (called Gipromez) approved the project developed by Ural Gipromez. On 17 January 1929 the construction of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Factory began at Magnetic Mountain, the factory was designed as the largest ironwork industry in the country, which it has remained to be until the present time. On March 10, 1929 the first builders arrived at the site, and by May the construction site employed over 300 people.[2]

On July 1, 1930 the laying of the first blast furnace of the future giant in steel industry was begun. July 26, 1930 saw the start of excavation work on the dam that would provide the factory with water. This structure was built in just 74 days. In September 1930, the foundation for blast furnace № 1 was completed. The start of production at the Magnitogorsk Metal was approaching.[2]

In early 1931, the Magnetic Factory was headed by Yakov Gugel, previously he had a great amount of experience in the steel industry. He managed to quickly reorganize the construction sites. Gugel created several different types of units. In the second half of 1931 he commissioned several important new constructions. On January 31, 1932, despite the protests American engineers[who?], who thought it necessary to set aside the opening until the spring, the first blast furnace was blown out, and February 1 saw the first cast iron product. In the summer of 1932, the iron blast furnace №2 called Komsomolka was completed. Many large projects were launched in Magnitogorsk in 1933, blast furnace №3 and №4 were started, as were four open hearth furnaces – thereafter the factory began to smelt steel, and in August 1934, the first Magnitogorsk varietal mill 500 came into operation. With the launch of this object, MMK became a major supplier of rolled metal products the company now had the complete metallurgical cycle.[4]

The construction was complete much faster than the American experts[who?] had anticipated. Brigade concreters headed by H. Galliulin set a world record for speed of work with a concrete mixer, which remains unsurpassed. This industry project had a Speed of light feature, according to the writer Emmanuil Kazakevich: Magnitogorsk was created at a pace which earlier was possible only for destruction.[5]

At first, the qualifications of the operational workers was very low. Full illiteracy was quite common among this level. This became particularly evident from the beginning of the development of metallurgical production, which even at that time was quite a complicated process. However, over time the competences of workers and engineers grew. At the MMK the training of workers was a priority. This allowed project managers to reject some of the services of the foreign experts. A method for the extraction of iron ore in the open pit was developed at the site, a world first. This technical innovation led to an incredible increase in ore output by 1936. The Magnitogorsk mine produced 5.5 million tons of ore, which was 20% of all the iron ore in the USSR.[2]

World War II[edit]

The Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Factory played an important role in the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, being the largest steel company in the Soviet Union, and also geographically the most distant from the fighting. Although originally MMK was built for civilian needs its move to military use did not take long despite the fact that MMK did not produce special steels used in the defense industry. After the attack on the USSR, on June 22, 1941, the factory obtained its first military order for production of metal armor. Instructions were given to proceed to the production of blanks for live shells, and to explore the possibilities of creating specialist products for armoured tanks, which required rebuilding the production facility. Prior to this there was only one production system and it was unsuitable. To convert the main oven was a task for metallurgists and the government provided a number of specialists for the development of the armoured steel. The factory created an Armour Bureau, which was responsible for the development of technology for the production of armoured steel products. By July 23, 1941, the third hearth furnace of MMK produced its first steel output for the military.[6]

Simultaneously with the development of armoured steel smelting technology at the plant, other military orders were produced. In order to provide more armour for the front they decided to take find a quick solution – and began the production of rolled sheets in the blooming mill. This brave decision was made by the Director of Magnitogorsk, G.I.Nosov. It is easy to guess what could happen with him at that time if the experiment would damaged the blooming mill in the end. But his courage was rewarded as the risk paid off. The offer for rolling armour sheets on the blooming mill was supported by the necessary calculations and design developments. In effect, World War II was not won by the soldiers in the trenches alone, but also by Soviet engineers in their Armour Bureau. Testing was successful, and the factories constructing the tanks received armour at least two weeks ahead of the deadline set by the government.[7]

Several outstanding Soviet metallurgy experts made enormous contributions to the creation of Magnitogorsk armour, these included the Director of Magnitogorsk G.I.Nosov, engineers: K.K.Neyland, V.A.Smirnov, Y.I.Lebedev, F.D.Voronov, N.M.Selivanov, N.A.Penniless and others.[8]

Armour sheet production at MMK in the end of 1941 exceeded its pre-war production. Simultaneously, specialized areas and workshops for the production of ammunition was improved. Hand grenades, components for missiles, and other defense products were manufactured. Magnitogorsk was converted into the major military arsenal of the country. The construction and commissioning of the new production units continued. Attention was concentrated on blast furnaces № 5 and № 6, this blast furnace steel become the biggest in USSR.[9]

A number of novel techniques, which enriched the theory and practice of construction were developed at the site. Due to the completion of large plant and the full cycle of metal production from ore to final product, the nation survived and despite the loss of huge tracts of territory to the Nazis.[10]

Working conditions[edit]

In 1941, the factory was not yet completely built; however, child labour was being already employed at what was called the CL (Central Laboratory).[11]

During the first years of the war, about 200,000 teenagers arrived to work at the factory; they were working for 10–11 hours a day, and sometimes in extreme situations they were staying for 10 days in the factory. It is thanks to children that Magnitogorsk was able to build the first tanks and aircraft, as they collected 57 million rubles to help the war front. Later, all these children organized the Popular support for the front which raised 185 million rubles. On 17 occasions, people from the Urals send divisions of young soldiers to the front, 613 wagons for 223 million rubles from pure souls.[12]

By February 1, arrived about 428,000 people were sent to the Chelyabinsk region to help and to work at the factory and its surroundings, to make all the necessary funds for the war effort. There was a huge problem with housing because there were so many people and there was no place for them all to live. The factory leadership decided on August 25, 1941, upon a project which includes the development of barracks and huts. Educational institutions and health centers with hospitals were also planned as the factory would grow.[13]

Over the years 1941-1943 to the South Urals came 483 - military hospital train, about 220,000 wounded and sick. One month after the war started, at the time of receiving the first - military hospital train, the region already has nine hospitals.. And on December 31, 1941, there were already 73 hospitals, which was treated 24,500 injured military personnel. - obtained from the documents of Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[14]

People were hungry and emaciated, as most of them also went to donate blood for the wounded and the sick. People fainted on the job, and over every place was sign saying Combat mission MMK in 1940, before the first hostile exchanges of war began, was producing tanks but production was very slow so it was decide to close the production of tractors and other machines product to concentrate and develop the manufacture of tanks. According to the direction of the State Defense Committee, it was decided to organize mass production of the medium battle tank T-34. The fate of the front and the country largely depended on how soon the factory could begin to produce tanks.[15]

Years would be required for this work in peace time, but the war set new rules. In just 34 days the job was done. Workers made the impossible possible, and after 34 days one of the first massive range of T-34 tanks rolled off the production line.[16]

"The T-34 was a sensation. This 26-ton Russian tank was armed with a 76.2 mm gun shells that pierced the armor of German tanks with a 1.5 - 2 thousand meters, at the same time when the German tanks could punch Russian with a maximum range of 500 meters, and then only in when the shells fell in the vehicle or the rear part of the T - 34" - Connoisseur of military equipment German General Erich Schneider.[17]

After the collapse of the USSR[edit]

In 1992, MMK was funded. By 1996, production fell to 5.8 million tons per year. Production has become increasingly oriented to the export (in some years, the share of exports in total production reached 70%). However the continued transition to the converter method of steel production, as well as the reconstruction of existing production. Result of the introduction of environmentally friendly technologies, and reducing the release, was for improving the environmental situation in Magnitogorsk. In 2008, crude steel production at the plant was 12 million tons.[18]

In 2002, the anniversary year for the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine, the company was put into a unique new production facilities.[19]

In late December 2006 it was reported that the owner of the world's largest steel company Lakshmi Mittal made MMK owners offer to buy a controlling stake in the company. According to unofficial data, the proposal was rejected by the owners of the MMK and not approved in the Presidential Administration.[20]


President Putin visits the plant, December 2000.

In 2007, MMK revenue were of $8 billion (+28% compared to 2006) with an operating income of $2 billion.[21]

MMK has announced in June 2009 a $110 million deficit for 2009 Q1, with a production of 2.1 million tonnes of crude steel.[22]

Joint venture investment in Turkey[edit]

The MMK signed on May 23, 2007 a joint venture agreement with the Turkish steel company Atakaş to construct and run a steel plant in Hatay Province of southern Turkey. On March 15, 2008, the plant's foundation was laid in Dörtyol, Hatay. Already with the beginning of 2009, plant's service center consisiting of a hot shear line and a combined cold shear and slitting line went in operation.[23] The plant, which will have a capacity of 2.5 million tons of steel products a year, was officially opened by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 9, 2011. It is one of the biggest of its art in Turkey.[24] On March 10, 2011, it was reported that the MMK applied to the Turkish competition board to buy its Turkish partner's stake.[25]

See also[edit]

  • Time, Forward!, a 1965 Soviet film about one day of construction of Magnitka


  1. ^ "Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Строительство Магнитки(Construction of the Magnitogorsk)". // Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  3. ^ "History of the Mountain". // Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  4. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.37, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  5. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.41, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  6. ^ "После войны(After War)". // Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  7. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.77, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  8. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.81, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  9. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.84, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  10. ^ History, Строительство Магнитки(How Magnitogorsk was built) p.87, 2008 г. Valery Kucher
  11. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p. 22. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  12. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p.24-27. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  13. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p.30-31. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  14. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p.55. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  15. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p. 61-66. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  16. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p.79. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  17. ^ Facts, Тыл фронту(Rear Edge) p. 100-104. Сборник воспоминаний, очерков, документов, писем. 1990 г. L.M Evteeva.
  18. ^ Юлия Федоринова, Мария Рожкова, Дмитрий Симаков, Анна Николаева. Миттал съездил на Урал(Newspaper) // Ведомости, № 240 (1767), 20 декабря 2006
  19. ^ "Строительство Магнитки(Construction of the Magnitogorsk)". // Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  20. ^ Alisa Fialko. Milliard ММК(Newspaper) // Ведомости, 108 (2626), 16 июня 2010
  21. ^ OJSC Magnitogorsk, Reuters
  22. ^ Russian steel maker MMK swings to Q1 net loss, The Guardian, June 11, 2009
  23. ^ "Üreten Türkiye'nin Yeni Çelik Devi" (in Turkish). MMK-Atakaş. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  24. ^ "İşte Türkiye`nin yeni devi!". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  25. ^ "MMK to buy partner's stake in Turkey unit-source". Reuters. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 

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