Mauritanian iron ore mining company SNIM – Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière – and ArcelorMittal have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to assess jointly developing iron ore pelletising and direct reduced iron plants in Mauritania. SNIM would supply iron ore feedstock, Kallanish understands.

A pre-feasibility study will now be carried out over the next four to six months to give better insight into the viability of the potential project, according to a statement seen by Kallanish.

SNIM is the second-largest iron ore producer in Africa.

In March, SNIM – 78.35%-owned by the Mauritanian state – committed to two agreements. One was an MoU with United Arab Emirates integrated steelmaker Emirates Steel to study the feasibility of creating a joint venture to produce iron ore pellets in Mauritania. The second was a long-term sales agreement to supply iron ore to Turkish conglomerate Tosyali's subsidiary Tosyali Algeria (see Kallanish passim).

Meanwhile, Takamul, the Mauritania-based iron ore miner joint venture between SNIM and Hadeed parent Sabic, is expected to ship the first ore cargo to Hadeed by 2024. It will produce up to 10 million tonnes/year of 67-68% Fe and below 2% silica content DR-grade pellet from 35-38% Fe magnetite iron ore (see Kallanish passim).