Rio Tinto has signed an MoU with Jindal Steel and Power which will see it move its HIsmelt facility to India.
The MoU will see the existing Kwinana HIsmelt plant relocate from Australia to India at Jindal’s facility in Angul, Orissa.
The relocated plant will be fully owned by Jinal, and it will work with Rio to further develop and market the technology.
Rio Tinto Australia iron ore chief Sam Walsh described the deal with JSPL as a natural progression for the technology.
“This opportunity with Jindal is exciting, as we integrate the HIsmelt flow sheet into their existing steel works in Orissa, an acceleration of proving of the technology to full design capacity," Walsh said.
“We believe the HIsmelt process remains the future for iron making, particularly in locations where the need to reduce the environmental footprint is increasing, thereby ensuring the ongoing sustainability of this essential industry.
“HIsmelt is suitable to the resources of India and offers huge environmental benefits to a steelmaker like Jindal.”
It was decided to close the plant in Janurary this year.
The majority of closure work is expected to be completed by 2014.
HIsmelt, short for high-intensity smelting, is the world’s first commercial direct smelting process for making iron straight from the ore.
The technology smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coals.