Arrium was an Australian mining and materials company. The company employed nearly 10,000 workers.[3] In April 2016 the company went into voluntary administration with debts of more than $2 billion. In September 2017 it was acquired by British-owned Liberty House Group.[4]

Arrium Limited
Public company
Traded asASX: ARI
IndustryMining, Mining Consumables, Manufacturing, Recycling, and Distribution
FateAcquired by Liberty House Group in September 2017 and renamed Liberty OneSteel
FoundedSpun off on 23 October 2000 as OneSteel from BHP Billiton. The company then changed its name on 2 July 2012 to Arrium Limited.
FounderBHP Group 
HeadquartersSuncorp Place, Sydney, Australia
Number of locations
New Zealand, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, USA, Canada, Peru
Key people
Jerry Maycock (Chairman, Non Exec. Director)
Productsiron ore, steel products
RevenueA$6.085 billion (2015)[1]
(A$-1.9 billion) (2015)
Number of employees


The company was spun out from BHP in 2000 as OneSteel[5] when it was almost entirely a domestically focused steel manufacturer and distributor. The Whyalla Steelworks, harbour and associated iron ore mining operations along the Middleback Range in South Australia were among its principal assets. The company subsequently focused on growing its resource based businesses and now has significant mining and mining consumables businesses, as well as its steel and recycling business.

In June 2006, an agreement was announced under which OneSteel would buy out scrap metal company Smorgon Steel for US$1.2 billion.[6] However, concerns by the Australian competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) resulted in significant delays in this process, as did concerns from Australian construction industry trade unions regarding possible job losses from the merger of the two operations.[7] The merger was completed in August 2007.[8]

On 15 February 2008 it was announced that one of the bar mills in the Hunter Valley, and the mill in Melbourne, would be closed.[8]

On 15 November 2010 OneSteel agreed to acquire two companies, Chile-based forged steel grinding balls producer Moly-Cop, and Canada-based AltaSteel, a producer of ball stock for forged grinding balls, for a total of $932 million.[9]

On 22 December 2011 OneSteel sold its Piping Systems business, and associated property investments, to U.S.-based McJunkin Red Man Holding for a total of $100m.[10]

On 6 October 2011 OneSteel completed the acquisition of WPG Resources' iron ore assets for an estimated A$320 million.[11]

On 2 July 2012 OneSteel was renamed Arrium Limited.[12]

On 1 September 2017, British-owned GFG Alliance acquired the Arrium Mining and Arrium Steel businesses, including Australia's main steel manufacturer and distributor, OneSteel. Arrium Mining was renamed SIMEC Mining and the OneSteel brand was changed to Liberty OneSteel.[4] The acquisition also included the Australian Reinforcing Company, Austube Mills and Emrails, and product brands such as Waratah and Cyclone.[4]

Whyalla iron ore export

In 2007, OneSteel commenced iron ore export from the port of Whyalla via transshipment. In October 2012, a new dual gauge railway balloon loop was commissioned at Whyalla with the purpose of increasing Arrium's iron ore export capacity to 12 million tonnes per annum.[13] Arrium's iron ore export volumes from Whyalla peaked at 12.5 million tonnes per annum in 2013-14 and 2014-15. In March 2015, Arrium's Southern Iron project, which includes the Peculiar Knob mine, was "mothballed". Export volumes are expected to drop to between 9 and 10 million tonnes in 2015-16 and again to between 6 and 8 million tonnes from 2017.[14] In October 2015, the company announced that it was working with the South Australian government to facilitate third party use of the Whyalla harbour to make use of its excess capacity.[15]


In 2012, a 37-year-old Whyalla man was killed while working on a barge during iron ore transshipment activities. The incident was investigated by Safework SA.[16]

Financial difficulties and acquisition

In 2015, the company announced a full-year loss of $1.9 billion[17]

On 7 April 2016, Arrium's directors placed the company into voluntary administration by Grant Thornton International.[18] By September 2017, voluntary administration had ended with the business's acquisition by Liberty House Group and was rebadged 'LibertyOneSteel'.[4][19]


The company had three primary reporting segments before September 2017, which may change under its new corporate parent:

  • Arrium Mining,[20] which currently exports approximately six million tonnes of hematite ore to China per annum from its Middleback Ranges mining operation in South Australia. The business expects to increase its export sales to a rate of approximately 11 million tonnes per annum by mid-2013 through bringing on-line additional sales from its Southern Iron operations in South Australia and the doubling of its port capacity at Whyalla, South Australia to approximately 12 million tonnes per annum. The Southern Iron operations were mothballed in 2015 due to low iron ore prices, along with part of the increased port capacity at Whyalla.[21]
  • Arrium Mining Consumables,[22] which includes Moly-Cop grinding media, the largest supplier of grinding media (grinding balls and grinding rods) in the world, servicing the global mining industry, particularly the copper, gold and iron ore sectors. The business sells grinding media in South America, North America and Australasia supplying around 950 thousand tonnes of product per annum.
  • OneSteel Steel & Recycling,[23] a manufacturing, distribution and recycling businesses. The division manufactures long steel products, structural pipe and tube, and wire products in Australia; it distributes structural steel and reinforcing products in Australia with around 200 sites across the country, and supplies scrap metal to foundries, smelters and steel mills in Australia and internationally.

Political lobbying

Arrium was represented by registered political lobbyists in South Australia and at a federal level. As of April 2015, the company was represented at a Federal level by Michael Johnson Associates Pty Ltd, John O'Connor and Associates Pty Ltd, GRACosway Pty Ltd and Kreab Gavin Anderson (Australia) Ltd.[24]

See also


  2. Building a Strong Future, Together Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Medhora, Shalailah (8 April 2016). "Arrium and the future of the Australian steel industry – four key questions" via The Guardian.
  4. "GFG Alliance has completed the acquisition of the Arrium Mining and Steel businesses". Liberty OneSteel. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  5. "ONESTEEL LIMITED OST - Profile and Status at InvestoGain".
  6. "OneSteel buys Smorgon Steel for A$1.6bn".
  7. Union concerned over OneSteel, Smorgon merger. 23 August 2006. ABC News Online
  8. "OneSteel lays of 270 workers, unions howl. 15 February 2008.". Archived from the original on 24 February 2008.
  9. "Australian OneSteel acquires Chile, Canada producers for $932 mil". added acquisition. Platts. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  10. "OneSteel shares jump on sale of Piping Systems". The Australian. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  11. "OneSteel Limited Completes Acquisition Of WPG Resources Limited's Subsidiary Companies". Reuters.
  12. "OneSteel officially becomes Arrium Ltd".
  13. "Arrium calls for interstate track upgrade" Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine (2012-11-07) Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  14. Arrium Limited Annual Report 2015 (PDF). Arrium Ltd. 2015. p. 15.
  15. "SA government to work with Arrium to turn Whyalla into a multi-user export port |". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  16. "Worker dies on barge at Whyalla". NewsComAu. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  17. "Arrium crashes to $1.9b loss on iron ore collapse". 19 August 2015.
  18. "Arrium enters voluntary administration, Grant Thornton appointed". ABC News. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  19. Paul, Chrystan (21 March 2018). "Why Sanjeev Gupta May Just Be The World's Most Ambitious Industrialist". Forbes.
  20. "Arrium Mining - Arrium".
  21. Valerina Changarathil (23 January 2015). "Arrium to mothball Southern Iron operations that include Peculiar Knob mine in SA, flags $1.3bn writedown due to iron ore prices". The Advertiser. News Corp. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  22. "Arrium Mining Consumables - Arrium".
  23. "Welcome".
  24. "Who is on the register?". Australian Government Register of Lobbyists. Australian Government - Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 28 April 2015.

Further reading

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