Fortescue Metals Group has approved an investment of up $50 million to construct a Green Iron Trial Commercial Plant at Christmas Creek, with annual production of more than 1,500 t.
The plant, in Western Australia, will use the existing green hydrogen infrastructure at Christmas Creek to lower the overall capital requirement and demonstrate a green pit to product supply chain, the company said. Construction will commence following a work program and is subject to receiving the relevant approvals. First production of green iron is targeted in 2025.
The pilot’s technology options will support both magnetite and hematite ores, with Fortescue recognising the importance of taking steps to support the reduction of its Scope 3 emissions.
Fortescue said: “The project represents a significant milestone in Fortescue’s green iron journey, where the company has been examining various hydrogen-based pathways to produce green iron, while also developing a low-temperature, electrochemical process at its Perth R&D facility.”
The term “green iron”, in this instance, refers to the end product resulting from processing iron ore into iron, without the use of fossil fuels, and instead using renewable energy.
Alongside this investment, the company also confirmed two other green energy projects – namely an 80 MW electrolyser and liquefaction facility in Arizona able to produce up to 11,000 t/y of liquid green hydrogen (the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub) and a 50MW green hydrogen project using Fortescue’s own electrolyser technology (the Gladstone PEM50 project).