Not so 'mini' anymore

Iverson prefers the term

The term "minimill" applies to electric-furnace steelmaking plants that melt scrap to produce steel -- bypassing front-end processes such as coke-making that are required in large integrated mills that start with virgin ore. Because the technology is suited to small-scale facilities, most of the early minimills were relatively small. For example, Nucor's original minimill in Darlington, S.C., was designed to produce just 60,000 tons/year -- a mere fraction of the 1.8-million-ton capacity of Nucor's newest mill in Berkeley County, S.C., which went into operation in late 1996. The scale of the newer facilities makes the term "minimill" something of an anachronism. Nucor Chairman Ken Iverson suggests that "market mill" might be a more appropriate term, because the facilities generally are designed to serve a specific regional market.

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