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Steel producers are the largest-volume producers in the metal sector. Within the United States, steel is produced in two types of plants: integrated mills and EAF (electric arc furnace) mills, also known as minimills. Companies that produce steel in traditional, integrated mills perform every step of the steelmaking process themselves, using blast furnaces or oxygen furnaces. This older technology has a number of drawbacks because of its negative impact on the environment, its extensive use of energy, and its relatively low yield. Also, integrated mills must be located in industrial areas, near the sources of their raw materials.
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