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Cutting|Efficiency|Gas|Iron Ore|Mining|Products|Solutions|Operations

Vale starts producing test loads of iron ore briquettes

31st August 2023

By: Reuters


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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian miner Vale has started test loads of its iron-ore briquette and is preparing to begin serving a backlog of customers, a top executive said, saying the new product should help steelmakers cut their carbon emissions up to 10%.

The tests are part of one of the last stages before Vale's briquette plant, in Espirito Santo state, launches production later this year, Vale's executive VP of Iron Ore Solutions Marcello Spinelli, told Reuters.

The miner already has an estimated backlog that should take 18 months to fulfill, Spinelli said.

Vale's first plant will have a production capacity of two-million metric tons per year, while a second one, set to produce four-million tons, is due to start operating at the beginning of 2024.

Spinelli said European, Japanese and Korean customers were first in line to receive the "novelty product".

The briquette, which Vale started developing some 20 years ago and officially announced in 2021, could be used to replace sinters, pellets and granules in steelmaking, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10% compared to the traditional blast furnace process, Vale said.

The miner's product was previously tested by steelmakers, but in smaller volumes.

The initiative is part of the mining firm's strategy to reduce its Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035, while also boosting competitiveness against its rivals at a time when steelmakers are increasingly looking for high-quality iron ore to decarbonize and increase efficiency.

"It's impossible to decarbonize the world without strong customer and supplier interaction," Spinelli said. The company is also seeking to decarbonize its own operations and diversify into higher value products.

Vale plans to approve two more briquette plants this year and another three in 2024, with production starting in two or three years, Spinelli said.

Edited by Reuters



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