Mining company Anglo American has teamed up with German steel product manufacturer Salzgitter Flachstahl (Salzgitter) to collaborate on carbon emission reduction in the steelmaking industry.

The joint effort, which saw the partners signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU), will involve the two companies conducting research into feed materials, including iron ore pellets and lump iron ores, suitable for use in direct reduction (DR) steelmaking based on natural gas and hydrogen.

In addition to potentially studying the development of broader hydrogen technologies, this research could see the steel industry producing significantly less carbon emissions than when using the conventional blast furnace process.

Speaking about the agreement, Peter Whitcutt, CEO, Anglo American Marketing, said, “We have set ambitious targets to help address climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, including achieving carbon neutrality across Anglo American’s operations by 2040.”

“While steel is a critical building block of our modern lives, and itself a critically needed material for the energy transition, the steel industry is a significant producer of carbon dioxide.”

He went on to state that partnering with Salzgitter, the companies will be able to develop strategies that help drive emissions reductions across the entire steelmaking sector.

Through the MoU Anglo American and Salzgitter can consolidate their long-standing relationship, as well as ensure continuous production of high-quality iron ore products.

This agreement aligns with Salzgitter’s SALCOS (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) project, which seeks to produce steel as resource-efficiently as possible.

Commenting on the project, Ulrich Grethe, Chariman of the Management Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH and member of the Group Management Board, Salzgitter, said, “With this project we continue to progress important milestones on the way to low CO2 steel production. In driving our SALCOS technology concept forward, we aim to decarbonise steel production as efficiently and quickly as possible.”

In a further attempt to reduce its carbon footprint, Anglo American has also investigated development of the hydrogen economy.