Rio Tinto and POSCO, a leading steel producer based in South Korea, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain. The partnership will explore a range of technologies for decarbonization across the entire steel value chain from iron ore mining to steelmaking, including integrating Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and POSCO’s steelmaking technology.

The MoU with POSCO underlines Rio Tinto’s commitment to working in partnerships with customers on steel decarbonization pathways and to invest in technologies that could deliver reductions in steelmaking carbon intensity of at least 30% from 2030 or with potential to deliver carbon neutral steelmaking pathways by 2050, according to the company. Both Rio Tinto and POSCO’s goal is to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This partnership with POSCO, a valued and long-standing customer, demonstrates our combined commitment to working together to identify ways to reduce emissions across the steel-making process,” Rio Tinto Vice President of Iron Ore Sales and Marketing Simon Farry said. “The agreement also complements Rio Tinto’s partnerships with other customers as the industry focuses on developing technologies that support the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

POSCO’s efforts to decarbonize will play an important role in achieving South Korea’s recently announced ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

“Tackling climate change is a critical item in achieving sustainable development for a better future,” POSCO Head of Steel Business Unit Hag-Dong Kim said. “On the journey to achieving carbon neutrality with Rio Tinto, we can play an important role of finding a way to build a low-carbon steel industry.”