Iraq’s Industry and Minerals Ministry is seeking technical assistance and investment for the construction of a ferrosilicon plant in the western city of Anbar.

The project aims to produce 25,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of two types of ferrosilicon alloys, at 75 per cent silicon and 45 per cent silicon using electric arc furnace technology, according to a source close to the project.

According to the feasibility study, carried out by State Company for Mining Industries (SCMI), a subsidiary of the ministry, the plant will cost an estimated $47.5m.

SCMI has also prepared a study on the production of iron oxide from the hematite ores available in the Hussainiyat area of Anbar city.

SCMI estimates Iraq has reserves of more than 850 million tonnes of quartz sands, with a purity level of 98 per cent.

Ferrosilicon alloys are used in the production of raw steel and alloys, playing a key role on the dispersion of graphite. High purity silicon is used in the electronics industry and as a raw material for the production of solar panels.