Tag Archives: Iron ore

Rio Tinto backs accelerated Scope 1 and 2 carbon emission cuts with $7.5 billion of investments

Rio Tinto has outlined a new target to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, more than tripling its previous target. To achieve this, it is setting aside around $7.5 billion of direct investments between 2022 and 2030.

Unveiled during an investor seminar this week, Rio said a 15% reduction in emissions is now targeted for 2025, five years earlier than previously stated, relative to its 2018 baseline of 32.6 Mt (CO2 equivalent – equity basis).

In recognition of the broader carbon footprint of the commodities it produces, Rio says it will accelerate its investment in R&D and development of technologies that enable its customers to decarbonise. Working in partnership with governments, suppliers, customers, academia and others, Rio intends to continue to develop technologies like ELYSIS™ for carbon-free aluminium and multiple pathways to produce green steel.

To meet additional demand created by the global drive to net zero emissions, Rio Tinto will prioritise growth capital in commodities vital for this transition with an ambition to double growth capital expenditure to about $3 billion a year from 2023, it said.

Rio Tinto can decarbonise, pursue growth and continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders due to its strong balance sheet, world-class assets and focus on capital discipline, it explained.

Some key points from the presentation include:

  • Decarbonisation of the Pilbara will be accelerated by targeting the rapid deployment of 1 GW of wind and solar power. This would abate around 1 Mt of CO2, replace natural gas power for plant and infrastructure and support early electrification of mining equipment;
  • Full electrification of the Pilbara system, including all trucks, mobile equipment and rail operations, will require further gigawatt-scale renewable deployment and advances in fleet technologies
  • Options to provide a greener steelmaking pathway for Pilbara iron ore are being investigated, including with biomass and hydrogen;
  • Options are progressing to switch the Boyne Island and Tomago smelters in Australia to renewable energy, which will require an estimated circa-5 GW (equity basis) of solar and wind power, along with a robust “firming solution”;
  • Development of ELYSIS to eliminate carbon emissions from the smelting process is progressing, with commercial scale technology on track for 2024.

Wet Earth, BHP and Rio Tinto improve Sime Washdown Skipper sprinkler system reliability

Wet Earth has collaborated with BHP and Rio Tinto’s Western Australia iron ore operations on an improvement program for its Sime Washdown Skipper sprinkler system.

The system was originally developed in 2008 to address safety and efficiency concerns around manually hosing underneath conveyors and other hard-to-reach areas. It is used at many major mine sites throughout Australia, according to Wet Earth.

Wet Earth’s recently collaboration with the major miners identified opportunities to improve the system’s overall performance and reliability, according to the company.

Wet Earth Managing Director, Nicholas Marks, explained: “One of the design improvements identified by BHP and Rio was due to the sprinkler sitting in an inverted position during normal operation. This meant that material and dust could easily penetrate the base of the sprinkler, which reduced its reliability. As these sprinklers are frequently deployed in hard-to-reach locations, reliability is critical.”

The new design incorporates a streamlined base to the sprinkler, which allows material and dust to sit on the base without any risk of it penetrating and impacting its internal operation, according to Wet Earth. Testing by both BHP and Rio Tinto found the reliability issues caused by the material penetrating the internals of the sprinkler were now eliminated.

The Washdown Skipper features, Wet Earth says, a solid brass dust proof base; stainless steel nozzle extension; Arc adjustment of 0-360°; nozzle sizes from 10-24 mm; flows from 2-15 l/s; pressure up to 10 bar; and and is easily automated, efficient and safe.

Vale and Jiangsu Shagang target low-carbon steel production route

Vale says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd in which both agree to pursue opportunities to develop steelmaking solutions focused on reducing CO2 emissions.

Vale and Jiangsu Shagang intend to develop economic feasibility studies of (i) usage of products with a lower carbon footprint in ironmaking process, as high-grade iron ore products; and (ii) cooperation on “Tecnored” plants, Vale said.

This initiative contributes to achieving Vale’s commitment to reduce net Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035, it said.

Additionally, Vale seeks to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and achieve neutrality by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Tecnored is a 100% Vale subsidiary focused on developing a low carbon pig iron process through the use of energy sources, such as biomass and syn-gas, that emit less CO2 than the coal and coke the tradition iron-making processes use. Using biomass, the path to economic carbon neutrality may be achieved in the medium term.

Jiangsu Shagang is a Chinese steel producer and service supplier. It has five production sites, which are mainly located in Jiangsu, Liaoning and Henan Provinces.

 

Hatch to move forward with process plant DFS for Magnetite Mines’ Razorback iron ore project

Magnetite Mines Ltd says it has appointed Hatch to complete the process plant section of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on its Razorback iron ore project in South Australia.

This, Magnetite Mines says, is an important contract award for the company and represents the largest component of the DFS expenditure and completes the appointment of major engineering roles.

Hatch’s scope builds upon the process plant design and AACE Class 4 Estimate that was completed as part of the prefeasibility study (PFS). This study supported the declaration of a maiden ore reserve of 473 Mt based on 12.8 Mt/y plant throughput and 2 Mt/y of high-grade concentrate. It also included plans to incorporate ore sorting technology.

Key areas of work for Hatch on the DFS include:

  • Designing a metallurgical test program to confirm comminution and processing properties;
  • Improving and defining the process flow sheet based on metallurgical results and optimisation reviews;
  • Developing the mechanical, piping, electrical, structural, and civil engineering to support an AACE Class 3 Capital Cost estimate; and
  • Providing construction and procurement input to develop the contracting strategy for execution.

At completion of this scope of work, Hatch will provide design deliverables and cost estimate, developed in line with the AACE guidelines for a Class 3 estimate (18R-97) for the process plant, Magnetite Mines says. The deliverables will be to a standard and level of detail that will allow Magnetite Mines to include them in a tender package to obtain proposals for a predominantly fixed price design and construct contract or an engineering, procurement and construction management contract on market terms for procurement of the process plant.

Claude D’Cruz, Director – Metals, Australia-Asia for Hatch, said: “Following the successful delivery of the previous study work, Hatch is very excited to continue our association with Magnetite Mines through to the DFS and to be able to apply our considerable magnetite processing experience to the development of Razorback.”

Magnetite Mines Limited Executive Chairman, Peter Schubert, said: “The PFS confirmed the process plant scope and the attractiveness of producing high-grade iron ore products at a competitive cost from the first stage of development of the company’s extensive iron ore resources. The DFS will undertake more detailed engineering and generate the tender packages for construction, supporting a decision to mine.

“This continues our strategy to carefully and systematically progress the project with the guidance of best-in-class technical consultants. We look forward to working with Hatch, as we develop Razorback into a successful operating iron ore business.”

Ferrexpo sets decarbonisation course to 2030 and 2050

Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo has announced inaugural decarbonisation targets that includes a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2050.

In addition, the group has undertaken an initial commitment to achieve a minimum of a 30% reduction in combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, against the group’s baseline year for emissions (2019), in line with its peer group.

The company is engaging with climate change specialists Ricardo Plc to help develop science-based decarbonisation targets as a second-phase of publishing carbon commitments.

Ricardo has also been hired to enhance the group’s existing climate change scenario reporting and review the role of Ferrexpo’s iron ore pellets within the circular economy. Results of this analysis is expected to enhance the group’s carbon reduction targets and to further develop climate change reporting in 2022, it says.

In the 18 months to June 2021, the group has recorded a carbon reduction in excess of 20%, according to Jim North, Interim Group Chief Executive Officer. This, he said, is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the environment.

“Through working with Ricardo, it is our intention to engage with stakeholders in 2022 with a clear, science-based understanding of our carbon journey that lies ahead,” he said.

Tim Curtis – Energy & Environment Managing Director, Ricardo Plc, added: “In setting targets to decarbonise the manufacturing of their iron ore pellets, Ferrexpo is driving change in the industry which will contribute to a low carbon transition and benefit organisations using Ferrexpo products in their supply chain.”

Some of the carbon reduction targets the company has pursued to this point include plans for a 5 MW pilot solar plant, use of sunflower husks in its pelletiser, and the potential use of a trolley line at its iron ore operations.

Fortescue issues ‘industry-leading’ Scope 3 emissions targets

Fortescue Metals Group has announced what it says is an industry-leading target to achieve net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040, addressing emissions across Fortescue’s entire global value chain, including crude steel manufacturing which accounts for 98% of the company’s Scope 3 emissions.

Fortescue’s approach to reducing Scope 3 emissions is to develop projects and technologies with a focus on reducing emissions from iron and steel making and to work with current and prospective customers on the application of the technology and the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia from Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). Fortescue will also prioritise the decarbonisation of its own fleet of eight ore carriers and engage with shipping partners to reduce, and aiming to eliminate, emissions from shipping.

FFI is targeting the production of 15 Mt of green hydrogen annually by 2030, which will underpin opportunities to work with customers and shipping partners on emissions reduction and elimination projects.

In addition to the long-term goal to achieve net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040, the following medium-term targets have been set:

  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from the shipping of Fortescue’s ores by 50% by 2030 from financial year (FY) 2021 levels; and
  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from steel making by Fortescue’s customers of 7.5% by 2030 from FY21 levels, to 100% by 2040.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation and at Fortescue, setting stretch targets is at the core of our culture and values and we are proud to set this goal to tackle emissions across our value chain.

“Fortescue has commenced its transition from a pure play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company, underpinned by the world’s first major carbon emission heavy industry operation to set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This Scope 3 target is consistent with this transition and complements our targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction.

“Collaboration is integral to driving the rapid transition to green energy, and we remain committed to actively engaging with our customers, suppliers and other key industry participants to facilitate the reduction of emissions. This includes the development of technologies and the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia through FFI, which will provide significant opportunities for the steel, cement and land and sea transport industries to decarbonise.”

To achieve the target, Fortescue and FFI are focused on accelerating a number of key initiatives:

  • Conversion of existing maritime vessels, including Fortescue’s fleet of ore carriers, to be fuelled by green ammonia;
  • Supporting the adoption of green ammonia in new vessel construction;
  • Pursuing opportunities for emissions reduction and elimination in iron and steel making, facilitated by the use of renewable energy and green hydrogen; and
  • Research and development work to produce green iron and cement from Fortescue ores at low temperatures without coal.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “Our investments in technologies and research and development are focused on demonstrating that the production of iron ore, cement, iron and steel can operate with renewable energy.

“Our work to decarbonise Fortescue’s iron ore operations will position Fortescue as the first major supplier of green iron ore in the world, paving the way for production of green iron and a new green steel industry.”

Rio Tinto to roll out K2fly’s Ground Disturbance solution across Pilbara ops

K2fly Ltd says Rio Tinto has signed a five-year contract for its Ground Disturbance solution, with the miner planning to roll it out across its iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The contract will generate annual recurring revenue of A$620,000 ($450,676) over the initial five-year term, the ASX-listed company says.

The addition of Ground Disturbance expands the number of K2fly solutions used by Rio Tinto to five out of K2fly’s nine existing solutions which already include: Resource Inventory & Reconciliation, Dams & Tailings, Community & Heritage and Mine Geology Data Management, K2fly says.

K2fly says its Ground Disturbance solution provides a single source for applying, approving, tracking, reporting and submitting closure of permits and rehabilitation commitments surrounding ground disturbance activities.

Nic Pollock, CEO of K2fly, says: “We are delighted to continue to expand our relationship with Rio Tinto into ground disturbance. Effective ground disturbance systems are the glue for operations that want to ensure technical assurance around land management, maintain licence to operate and ensure high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. We are pleased to be working closely with Rio Tinto across a number of key ESG solutions globally.”

Metso Outotec to provide ‘unique’ sustainable screening tech to iron ore project

Metso Outotec says it will supply unique sustainable screening technology for an iron ore project in the Southern Hemisphere.

The order for the product screening and scalping application covers 12 Metso Outotec BSE Series™ (Banana Screen Elliptical) tandem screens and 4 MF Series™ screens, all equipped with 305PS screening media. In addition, the contract covers Metrics monitoring system for screens, expert support and installation services, the company says.

Metso Outotec explained: “The need to reduce water in iron ore production and other minerals processing is a critical global challenge. The innovative and patented BSE Series screens enable iron ore processing even with higher natural moisture content without adding water.”

The order value, which is not disclosed, has been booked in Minerals segment’s September quarter orders received. The start-up of the project is scheduled for the first half of 2024.

Jouni Mähönen, Vice President, Screening business line, Metso Outotec, says: “We are pleased that the customer chose Metso Outotec for sustainable screening solutions for their process. The BSE screen is an outstanding option for their needs. The elimination of process water ultimately results in lower processing costs, increasing the customer’s competitiveness and profitability in the iron ore global markets.”

Results the customer can expect after implementation, according to Metso Outotec, include:

  • BSE Series screens, which are part of the company’s Planet Positive solution, enable elimination of process water in the screening process;
  • A 93% reduction of the plant’s overall water consumption, elimination of the need for tailing dams;
  • Reduced energy consumption from the entire plant compared with the wet screening process: 18,000 MWh/y electricity saving;
  • 30% increase in screening capacity compared with traditional screening;
  • Increased safety during media change-outs using the Hammerless Attachment system; and
  • Reduced capital expenditure due to the adoption of high-performing BSE screens.

Swedish universities on board with LKAB’s carbon-dioxide free mission

LKAB says it is investing SEK80 million ($9.3 million) in a multi-year collaboration focused on research for sustainable mining of the future.

In close collaboration with LKAB personnel, prominent researchers at, among other partners, Luleå University of Technology, Örebro University and Mälardalen University will develop solutions to enable the company’s transition to carbon dioxide-free processes and products by 2045, LKAB says.

Jordi Puig, Head of Mining Technology, LKAB, says: “This initiative supports our strategy to set a new world standard for mining. Researchs findings will be shared ‘open source’ with our partners ABB, Combitech, Epiroc and Sandvik and eventually also with other companies.”

As part of LKAB’s collaboration project to create a digitalised, automated and carbon-dioxide-free mine, the company has engaged in regular dialogue with academia and announces that, earlier in the year, the decision was taken to fund 10 different research assignments. Now an agreement has been signed with Luleå University of Technology, Örebro University and Mälardalen University, and discussions with several other universities have been initiated.

Daniel Johansson, Professor and Acting Head of Mining and Rock Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, says: “Since the start of Luleå University of Technology, and especially during recent decades, LKAB has been our strongest partner. We are very pleased to be entrusted to participate in the green transition which LKAB has now begun. This is also well in line with the university’s strategy for future autonomous, efficient and sustainable mine operation. We look forward to successful research collaboration.”

Amy Loutfi, Pro-vice-chancellor AI and Innovation, Örebro University, says: “The initiative presents a fantastic opportunity. This represents a collective ambition to focus on basic and applied research and to use AI and autonomous systems in an improved mining sector. We have been looking strategically at the mining industry for some time and we view it as a growing application area for AI and robotics. LKAB’s initiative leads us into further collaboration with industry and academic partners and we are delighted to be a part of this.”

Erik Dahlquist, Professor in Energy Technology, Mälardalen University, says: “Mälardalen University has worked with risk management, energy and production optimisation within many industries, and we are very pleased to be able to be working towards the realisation of LKAB’s ambition to set a new world standard for sustainable mining. This is really driving the industry towards a future with electrification and AI systems for automated operation.”

Research assignments will commence immediately and continue until the close of 2024. Research work will be conducted mainly within the areas of underground transportation and energy efficiency, as well as risk management for increased safety awareness

Puig added: “To improve safety, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to increase productivity in our mines is vital for LKAB to be able to continue to deliver climate-efficient iron ore products. This is one of many steps toward the achievement of our objectives.”

Fortescue and Wintawari establish ‘culturally safe’ JV for Solomon Hub operations

Fortescue Metals Group and members of the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation, the prescribed body corporate for the Eastern Guruma People, have today announced a co-management framework to oversee the development of new mines at Fortescue’s Solomon Hub operations in Western Australia.

Under the framework, Fortescue and members of Wintawari will establish a “culturally safe” mining joint venture to mine the East and West Queens deposits on Eastern Guruma country. The 10-year mine services contract to be awarded to the new joint venture is estimated to be worth over A$500 million ($367 million), making the contract the largest ever awarded to an Aboriginal business by Fortescue.

A working group will be formed to collaboratively work together on all stages of the mine development from heritage and environmental approvals, resource drilling and definition and mine planning to operations and rehabilitation, Fortescue says. The agreement builds on the decade-long relationship between the parties, which was formalised in a Land Access Agreement in December 2009.

Wintawari Chair, Glen Camille, said: “The establishment of this new co-management joint venture represents the next step in our journey with Fortescue. We are glad to work with Andrew Forrest and Fortescue to improve the economic outcomes for Aboriginal people and thank Andrew for his demonstrated commitment.

“Working collaboratively, we will ensure that Eastern Guruma people are active participants in the future development of mines on our country, enabling deeper consultation around the protection of culturally significant sites while building a better future for our people.”

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is proud of our longstanding relationship with Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation. We are confident that this new collaborative framework will strengthen our ties with the Eastern Guruma People, through the unique opportunity to have a seat at the table to share cultural knowledge and guide the growth of Fortescue’s operations on their country.”

Fortescue Senior Manager Indigenous Communities, Heath Nelson, said: “In line with our approach to ensuring our Native Title Partners benefit from our growth and development, this joint venture will also deliver significant economic opportunities through employment and contracting opportunities.”

Fortescue Chairman and Founder, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said: “It gives me enormous pride to bear witness to this framework, which will shape a new shared direction for Fortescue and the Eastern Guruma People. Together, we will provide enduring benefit for future generations, while preserving their unique culture and heritage.”