Global mining giant Rio Tinto & German steel maker Salzgitter Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together towards carbon-free steelmaking by studying optimization of Rio Tinto’s high quality Canadian & Australian iron ore products for use in Salzgitter’s SALCOS green steel project in Germany. Under the MOU, Rio Tinto and Salzgitter will explore optimization of iron ore pellets, lump and fines for use in hydrogen direct reduction steelmaking. The two companies will also explore the potential for greenhouse gas emission certification across the steel value chain. The partnership will focus on the potential use of these products in the SALCOS, Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking program, which is targeting virtually carbon-free steel production, starting step-by-step in 2025 using hydrogen direct reduction. The technical issues comprise the following in detail: optimizing pellet quality with respect to direct reduction with hydrogen, the use of lump ore and other iron carriers when reducing by hydrogen, and the production of a sinter for deployment in a direct reduction plant when reducing by hydrogen. Furthermore, the carbon emissions in the entire supply chain and opportunities for their registration and certification are to be examined. Both companies will also actively engage in this sphere as with low-carbon steel production and the requisite raw materials they can lay the foundation for achieving their sustainability targets and those of their customers. Under the SALCOS program, Salzgitter’s carbon-based blast furnace route will gradually be replaced from the middle of this decade by direct reduction plants, initially operated by natural gas and then with a steadily increasing proportion of hydrogen. Rio Tinto produces iron ore pellets & concentrates at Iron Ore Company of Canada and iron ore lump and fines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Rio Tinto is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and is targeting a 15% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025 (from a 2018 baseline) and a 50% reduction by 2030. Rio Tinto’s approach to addressing Scope 3 emissions is to engage with its customers on climate change and work with them to develop the technologies to decarbonize.