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The investment is part of the final phase of Ahmsa's Fénix expansion project, which was partially put into operation in July last year, Ahmsa spokesman Francisco Orduña told Steel First.

He did not disclose the annual production or the number of mines that might be opened.

“Ahmsa is currently quantifying the reserves of these mines, and is carrying out engineering design [work],” he said.

The $1.5 billion Fénix project comprises a 1.46-million-tpy blast furnace, a 1.2-million-tpy electric arc furnace, a 1.2-million-tpy slab caster and a 1-million-tpy plate mill.

It raised Ahmsa's crude steel production capacity to 4.75 million tpy from 3.5 million tpy.