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Announcement by Arkansas Economic Development Commission on July 1, 2014:

Big River Steel officially closes deal on Mississippi County steel mill
$1.3 billion mill is largest investment in state’s history

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (July 1, 2014) – Big River Steel LLC today announced it has officially closed on its financing necessary to build a $1.3 billion steel mill in Mississippi County, Arkansas, that will employ more than 500 people with an average annual compensation of $75,000. A formal groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled for later this summer.

“It’s truly been a team effort between our investors, local and state leadership, our management team, and many others to get to this point,” said John Correnti, Big River Steel’s CEO. “I know firsthand Northeast Arkansas has everything we need to operate a world-class mill. Now it’s time to get to work.”

Big River Steel announced plans to build a steel mill in Arkansas in early 2013 to produce steel for the automotive, oil and gas, and electrical energy industries. Construction is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

“The economic impact Big River Steel will have on the State of Arkansas is tremendous,” said Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “In addition to the benefits of Big River alone, we fully expect a significant number of suppliers to locate operations in the region. We appreciate the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and Arkansas Teacher Retirement System working hard to make this project possible.”

- Mark Bula, Big River Steel.

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Thank you for your interest in Big River Steel and for visiting our website. As we work to complete the investment and development phases of our project, we are heartened by the attention we are generating and the support we are receiving.

In my nearly three decades in the steel industry, my team and I have been involved in launching a number of new steel mills, quite possibly more than any other team. Each and every time we have launched a new project, I have been extremely proud of the advances in technology and mill capabilities a new mill has brought to the industry. But never before have I viewed the opportunity to be as great as I believe it is for Big River Steel.

Much has been said about the over capacity of the steel industry in the United States. Truth be told, the United States remains, and has been for quite some time, a net importer of steel. This import gap is most prominent in those niche markets and specialty grades that are often the most demanding to produce and which Big River Steel will be uniquely designed to produce

We at Big River intend to tackle these “difficult” grades with a technologically advanced mill built from the ground up that is capable of not only producing the highest grades of steel for today, but the high quality steel grades of the future as well. We will produce the ever-evolving, lightweight advanced high strength steels required for applications in arenas like automotive production to allow automakers to meet the conflicting requirements of improved safety and better fuel economy. We will tackle grades such as the silicon electrical steels needed to replace our aging electrical infrastructure and transmission grid. And Big River Steel will even produce some of the “beefier” size and strength grades of steel demanded by the pipe and tube industry that will help grow our domestic supply of oil and natural gas.

This for me is what is most exciting about the Big River Steel project: the ability to produce steels that will help make our country healthier environmentally, stronger internally and more energy self-reliant. A recent paper sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association and the American Scrap Coalition titled, Melt it Here: The Benefits of Expanding Steel Production in the United States, does a good job of highlighting many of these impacts. I encourage all to read it.

I look forward to seeing you at the groundbreaking.

Yours truly,

John Correnti