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Of this total, $163 million will be invested in the construction of a railway terminal in Miguel Burnier, in the country’s south-eastern Minas Gerais state, to transport iron ore output.

The terminal will have a handling capacity of 15 million tpy in a first phase.

A further $133 million will be used for the installation of a conveyor belt to transport iron ore from the beneficiating plant to Gerdau’s Açominas steelworks.

The remaining $120 million will be allocated to the construction of a highway to transport iron ore from the company’s Várzea do Lopes mine to the beneficiating facility in Miguel Burnier.

Gerdau’s total iron ore output capacity is expected to increase to 18 million tpy in 2016 from the current 11.5 million tpy.

In 2014, the company expects to produce 9-9.5 million tonnes of iron ore in Brazil.

The firm also plans to achieve an iron ore output capacity of 24 million tpy by 2020 through the addition of a new processing plant, but this is “still being studied”, Gerdau said.

The company is continuing to investigate the construction of a private port terminal in Itaguaí, in Rio de Janeiro state, to export its iron ore surplus.