Nickel Iron Bonanza

Greetings-
I am a Science Fiction writer and have a couple of chapters (of a work in progress) based on the following premise. As is obvious, I know
little or nothing about any phase of the metals market. The protagonist, through various means (this is science fiction, remember; I have a lot of leeway--er--miraculous happenings going on) :-).
Anyway, the situation is this- the protag has at his disposal roughly 100 trillion (million millions; ie, Teratons) of M-class asteroid nickel-iron. It's crushed, of very high purity (or so the scientific speculation of such asteroids claims), and is stored? in a readily accessible area, say, assume near railroads, uh... near Pittsburgh, or some steel center here in the US. This has been carried out by what we SF guys call Handwavium, with a capital aitch. One heck of a lot of high-grade nickel iron(12-15 trillion cubic meters), more or less ready for processing; ready for the mill. The protag owns it all, and is willing to sell it cheap. Say, just off the top of my head, a buck a ton. ;-)
If you are still reading :-), would you please give your opinion on what would now happen under the above...er...assumptions--
Could this massive amount of metal be processed by, say an upgrade of existing facilities in the USA?
More importantly, would the market implode because of the huge infusement of raw product? Or is an idea of a market saturation crash really too simplistic?
My own naive assessment is that the industry could upgrade, and accordingly turn the situation into a sort of revolution that mirrors the US steel market in the mid twentieth century, e.g., steel products replacing much of what is now made of plastic? A wild idea, to be sure.
Thanks for your time.
crs
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Initial thoughts
Metal scrap (usually) needs to be processed by electric arc furnace. http://www.uksteel.org.uk/stlmake3.htm
This is not much use to the BOS route manufacturers, about 63% of world production capacity. (The BOS route does use some scrap but some of this is self arising).
If your scrap is free who will pay for disposing of all the steel scrap that is now worthless?
The iron ore miners will not like you, but their coal (and other metal) mining interests would benefit. (In the current shortage of raw material supply, coal is probably more of a problem than scrap or iron ore). What are the get-out clauses in the multi year supply contracts like?
EAF production needs electricity. What is your handwavium power source? Where is electricity cheap?
What alloys are you going to make? If austenitic stainless steel then you will need chromium in very large quantities. There are many thousands of steel grades in use, very few of these are anywhere near the composition of your alloys. Will people be able to use your alloys for their applications, for many applications probably not. You might be unable to make tin cans or car body panels for instance.
If steel products were cheaper then people would use more of it, but historically (although not necessarily at the moment) scrap steel input costs have not been the main part of the cost of producing steel products. Processing iron into products, transport, and handling and cutting by distributors are also big chunks of cost. If scrap steel were free in one location in USA how much cheaper would steel be, uneducated guess no less than half price in the USA, 25% by the time it reaches China, less for more heavily processed products e.g. painted steel sheet for washing machines? In some markets, free steel scrap might do no more than make USA steel costs the same as those of the currently lowest cost international producers (Asian / South American).
Did you notice the effect of the large increases in steel costs over the last couple of years? Would you notice if these price increases were reversed?
Other countries threatened by steel imports from USA would probably do what the USA and other countries have done / do and protect their home suppliers by import tariffs or quotas.
The cost of converting steel products to consumer items are generally higher than the cost of the raw materials. Plastic would be replaced by steel in your car, but your car would be perhaps only $100 cheaper. You would not notice the difference, do you check to see if the oil filter or petrol tank on your car is made of metal or plastic. You might notice if the bumper went back to metal from plastic but with today's painted styles probably not even then. Steel cans might replace aluminium cans for drinks, but can you tell the difference. Steel framed buildings might replace wood framed and concrete framed. But exterior cladding is more sensitive to fashion and probably would not change as easily.
The cost of machining to make some things in steel, would be more than the cost of making it in plastic. Complicated shaped items that do not need to be strong, but need a smooth finish.
Steel intensive massive projects might move to USA. Perhaps an increase in shipbuilding or something similar.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sorry, you are devising the very plot of Jules Verne's novel again: "La chasse au m้t้ore" (French title, translates in English as: "Meteor hunt"). In his case, the meteor was of gold, with all difficulties on the gold trade, etc. explained in full length. Fortunately, the crazy scientist, who was in charge of the capturing of the meteor, was able to send it again down a Brittony cliff into the ocean, thanks to his invention of a very powerful radiation beam (which description looks like a good preview of the power laser!).
Regards, J.J.
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mytg8 wrote:

Have you ever heard of the mystery called "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz"?
It involves a western USA family that found a diamond on their ranch which was as big as the Ritz hotel in New York City.
F Scott Fitzgerald was the author, I believe.
Not as old a work as the Jules Verne citation
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Argh. Trumped by Verne 150 years ago. Don't know that Fitzgerald cat, though. :-)
Dunno. Maybe with that news and the excellent points made above, I'll bit bucket the iron asteroid scheme and dust off that other one--the Peta-bbls of alien sweet crude. Don't tell me...
crs
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mytg8 wrote:

How about something that doesn't require so much handwaving. Like, what if the Gold hypothesis turned out to be true? (Thomas Gold, that is.)
Add pictures here
โœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.