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Steel company Nucor Corp. says it expects to begin production within the next few weeks at its direct-reduced iron plant in Louisiana. The Charlotte, NC company says the $750 million Convent plant is in the final stages of testing as a unit.

The Advocate reports that the 2.5 million-ton capacity plant will make high-purity pellets from iron ore. Nucor will mix the pellets with scrap metal to make steel. The reduced iron plant is the first of several phases in a planned $3.4 billion steel complex that would employ 1,250 people and produce millions of tons of steel each year.

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