Vale tests new type of in-demand briquettes

Brazilian miner Vale has started testing a form of iron ore briquette years in the making ahead of delivering to a backlog of customers. The company says the new product should help steel makers cut their carbon emissions by up to 10%.

The company estimates it will take 18 months to clear the waiting list of initial buyers, senior executive Marcello Spinelli was reported as saying by Reuters news agency. European, Japanese and South Korean customers will be the first to receive the new product.

The tests are one of the last stages before Vale’s new, 2 Mt/y briquette plant in Espirito Santo state begins production this year. A second plant, capable of turning out 4 Mt/y of the briquettes, is due to start operating at the beginning of 2024.

Two more are expected to be approved this year and another three in 2024, with production starting in two or three years, Spinelli said.

The company started developing the new form of briquette around 20 years ago. The intention is that it will be used to replace sinter, pellets and granules in steel making, reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to the traditional blast furnace (BF) steel making process.

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