Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 28 > Page 47 - C.M. (Clem) Anson and Steel

Page 47 - C.M. (Clem) Anson and Steel

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/6/1 (265 reads)

insurance man as president for awhile--he didn't last very long, wasn't meant to. Then came Sir Newton Moore. And he was the one who thought we should export steel to England--beyond the rails we were already exporting. And the first thing I think we shipped in there was nails--hundredweight bags of nails--112 pounds. We wouldn't ship them in just by the carload. We'd have several hundred tons on a vessel. Build it up and build it up. Then started the rods going over there, England impor? ted from the continent several million tons of steel a year in various forms. And we were able to compete. You see, we had an exceptional overall work force, particularly in the supervis? ory group--heads of departments, foremen of groups--we couldn't have done all that we did without that. Because we didn't have good raw materials to work with. Our iron ore was one of the poorest iron ores to smelt in the world, a very dense hema? tite. And contained an awful lot of sili? con- -perhaps 15%. And unfortunately con? tained a lot of phosphorus, which you don't want in steel too much. And there weren't too many places in those days you- could get iron ore. Iron ore wasn't as plentiful then as it is today--at least it hadn't been discovered. In fact, there was no iron ore mined in Canada--and Newfound? land was not Canada in those days--east of a small deposit in Ontario. And there was none mined west of that. All the iron ore for central Canadian plants--Algoma, Stel- co, Dofasco--came from the Mesabi iron ore range in Pennsylvania. All of our ore came from Newfoundland. All of our blast fur? nace ore. And it was very poor. It was a- bout 507o iron, which wasn't bad--nothing wrong with that. And 15% silicon meant you had to put a lot of limestone in the blast furnace to take the silicon away as slag-- and then all the phosphorus went into the iron and you had to take that out in the open hearth. So this was an expensive prop? osition. (Had you had better iron ore to start out with, could you have made a cheaper steel?) Oh, yes. And the same thing about the coal. You know, the Cape Breton coal is not a good metallurgical coal. There were a coup? le of mines that delivered a coal that one could use--but they did not make good coke. Made very weak coke. Weak in strength. And the result was that when it got in the blast furnace it broke up before it had done its work. And you had to use more coke than you should have--consequently costing more money. Now we eventually got a way around that by importing a certain amount of low volatile coal from Pennsyl? vania, about 20%, of what we used--and the combination with the high volatile Cape Breton coal made a good coke. So we got our coke consumption down in the blast fur? nace. (So when it came to the basic ingredients of steelmaking, you had the poorest of ma? terials to work with.) That's right. There was no steel plant in the world had a poor? er ore to make steel from. And the coal was not a good metallurgical coal. (Wasn't that realized when they were building the plant?) I don't think so, no. (When talk of why the steel plant first came here comes up, they say we had the coal, we had the iron ore close at hand--what more could you ask for?) That's right. But I think perhaps you' should put it another way. As I told you, there were not too many iron ore deposits discovered in the world, so you made do with whatever you had. And similarly, how many coal deposits are there available to make coke from? And you must have a relatively high volatile coal to make coke--but not as high as Cape Breton coal. Cape Breton coal is from 35- 36%, volatile matter, whereas for good coke- making, you need something on the average_ 'nfiiBS'iaai'Httt* CANADA'S UtOISf AND MSMCHOWNI SYDNEY SHOPPING MALL. PRINCE ST. Wide'selection of every kind of record & cassette. Featuring ccnplete catalogue ordering & accessories. "The only record store you'll ever need." SENATOR'S CORNER, GLACE BAY R. & M. Grocery -' Co. Ltd St. Peters Shop at the Sign of the Steer St. Peters Drug Store Ltd. Don.Stone, Ph. C, Proprietor Open 6 Days a Week Mon. to Thur. open until Fri. until 9 p.m Sat. until 5 p.m. p .m. 535-2203 St. Peters, N.S. Ideal Ice Cream Co. Ltd. A Ck)mplete Line of Frozen Foods Ice Cream and Fountain Supplies 162 Prince Street Sydney 56/f-4549 (47)
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