Rio Tinto and the Salzgitter Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together toward carbon-free steelmaking by studying optimization of Rio Tinto’s high-quality Canadian and Australian iron ore products for use in Salzgitter’s SALCOS green steel project in Germany. Under the MOU, Rio Tinto and Salzgitter will explore optimization of iron ore pellets, lump and fines for use in hydrogen direct-reduction steelmaking. The two companies will also explore the potential for greenhouse gas emission certification across the steel value chain.
Rio Tinto produces iron ore pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Co. of Canada and iron ore lump and fines
in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The partnership will focus on the potential use of these products in the SALCOS — Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking program — which is targeting virtually carbon-free steel production, starting step-by-step in 2025 using hydrogen direct reduction.
“We welcome the chance to work with Salzgitter on ways to accelerate green steelmaking, in keeping with our commitment to reduce emissions across the steel value chain,” Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer Alf Barrios said. “Salzgitter has one of the world’s most advanced green steelmaking projects. Rio Tinto is excited at the opportunity of supplying our product and combining our technical expertise with that of Salzgitter to help advance the SALCOS project.”
Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH Chairman of the Management Board Ulrich Grethe said they hope to combine the knowledge of both companies to make further progress with low-carbon steel production.
Under the SALCOS program, Salzgitter’s carbon-based blast furnace route will gradually be replaced from the middle of this decade by direct reduction plants, initially operated by natural gas and then with a steadily increasing proportion of hydrogen.