Best Employer

Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Limited: History


The company, on which Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation Limited (Highveld) was founded, was established in 1957, when Minerals Engineering of Colorado built a plant in eMalahleni to produce 1.4 million kilograms vanadium pentoxide a year.


Two years later, Anglo American plc (then Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Limited) acquired a two-thirds share in Minerals Engineering.


In August, the company’s name was changed to Transvaal Vanadium Company (Proprietary) Limited. By then another company, the Highveld Development Company Limited, had been established to investigate the viability of processing titaniferous magnetite ore for the production of liquid pig iron and vanadium-bearing slag.


In 1964, following investigations into the viability of processing titaniferous magnetite ore for the production of liquid pig iron and vanadium-bearing slag, the process to build an integrated iron- and steelworks commenced.


The name of the Highveld Development Company was changed to Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation Limited on 11 June.


By 1966 Highveld was the global leader in vanadium production.


Highveld acquired a 65 per cent share in Transalloys (Proprietary) Limited, a company producing manganese alloys.


Highveld acquired the total issued share capital of Rand Carbide Limited, which had been founded in 1918 in Germiston. The plant was moved to eMalahleni in 1926 and Rand Carbide now operated as a division of Highveld, producing ferrosilicon and char.


Highveld acquired the remaining 35 per cent interest in Transalloys (Proprietary) Limited, which was subsequently incorporated and now operated as a division of Highveld. The Group acquired Rheem South Africa (Proprietary) Limited (Rheem), a company involved mainly in the manufacture of drums, pails and crown closures.


The Group expanded its activities into stainless steel with the acquisition of the stainless steel operation of Middelburg Steel amp; Alloys (Proprietary) Limited in partnership with Samancor Limited, resulting in the formation of the Columbus Joint Venture (“CJV”).


The partners in the CJV each sold a one-sixth share of the CJV to the Industrial Development Corporation.


The South African vanadium producer, Transvaal Alloys (Proprietary) Limited was acquired in January.


The new plant of CJV commenced production.


Hochvanadium Holding AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highveld, and its wholly owned subsidiary Hochvanadium Handels GmbH commenced business in Austria on 1 December 1998 for the purpose of processing and selling vanadium products.


Part of Rheem’s assets was sold. With effect from 1 January, 64 per cent of Highveld’s interest in the CJV was disposed of, thereby retaining a 12 per cent interest in Columbus Stainless (Proprietary) Limited (“Columbus”) and acquiring a 2.9 per cent interest in the share capital of Acerinox, S.A., a Spanish company listed on the Madrid stock exchange.


The sale of the remainder of Rheem’s assets took place. Highveld retained a 50 per cent shareholding, having sold the balance of two Japanese companies, in South Africa Japan Vanadium (Proprietary) Limited which commenced operating a plant situated at the Steelworks producing ferrovanadium specifically for the Japanese market.


Half the Acerinox, S.A. interest was sold on 7 January and the balance on 13 May, together with the entire interest in Columbus.


In 2006, the sale of Anglo American plc’s shareholding in Highveld to Evraz Group S.A. commenced, when Evraz and Credit Suisse each acquired 24.9 per cent of Highveld’s issued share capital.


In 2007, Evraz exercised its option to acquire the share capital held by Credit Suisse as well as the share capital still held by Anglo American plc. The transaction was subject to competition-related conditions set by the Commission of European Communities, namely that certain of Highveld’s vanadium-related assets be divested.


On 29 August the conditions set by the Commission of the European Communities for Evraz Group S.A. in relation to the divestment of Highveld’s vanadium- related assets were met.

Now Highveld forms part of Evraz, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated steel and mining businesses, registered in Luxembourg. Evraz produced 16.3 million tons of crude steel in 2007, making the company one of the 15 largest steel producers in the world.

Evraz has a number of steel, vanadium, iron ore and coal mining and processing operations based in Russia, Ukraine, USA, Canada, Italy, Czech Republic and South Africa.


The name of the Company was changed to Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Limited on 19 July 2010 and the Company embarked on a rebranding initiative in line with the global Evraz strategy.