The company was listed on the ASX in 2000 as OneSteel Limited following its spin-off from BHP. At that time, it was solely a domestic steel long products manufacturer and distributor of steel products throughout Australia and New Zealand.
A significant milestone in the company’s history occurred in 2005 when the Board decided to diversify into the resource sector through Project Magnet. Project Magnet included an investment of approximately $400 million to convert the Whyalla Steelworks to magnetite iron ore feed, thereby creating a new revenue stream for the company by freeing up hematite iron ore for export sales. This investment led to sales of approximately four million tonnes per annum, and together with further work to optimise the supply chain through Project Magnet Phase 2, export iron ore sales increased to 6+ million tonnes per annum quickly and for minimal capital investment.
Another milestone for the company was its acquisition of the Smorgon Steel Group in August 2007. Included in the acquisition were some mining consumables businesses, including a grinding media business in Australia, which built on the company’s existing position in mining consumables. These businesses are also leveraged to the strong global resources sector, particularly copper, gold and iron ore.
Building on the success of these businesses, the company acquired the Moly-Cop Group mining consumables business from Anglo American plc at the end of 2010. This acquisition positioned the company as the global leader in grinding media with participation in some of the world’s largest and most attractive mining consumables markets, as well as providing the company with a platform for further growth in mining consumables.
The next significant milestone in the company’s history was the acquisition in October 2011 of the subsidiaries owning the iron ore assets of WPG Resources Limited in South Australia. This commenced the investment that led to the subsequent doubling of the Mining business in mid 2013, including reaching an iron ore export sales rate of 12Mtpa and a doubling of the Whyalla Port capacity to 13Mtpa. This makes the company one of the largest exporters of iron ore in Australia outside the three majors.