Australian mining company, Fortescue produces first-ever green iron ore

Fortescue Metals Group in Australia has produced high-purity green iron ore and successfully tried ammonia-powered freight as part of its Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) renewable energy and industry initiative. The initiative is meant to test if 100 per cent green energy could be used to manufacture iron and steel, fertiliser and cement.

According to FFI chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth, trialling hydrogen, ammonia and battery technology was successful in powering the company’s trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs. “To demonstrate this within Fortescue, we set ambitious decarbonisation targets for our own heavy industry,” Shuttleworth said.

“FFI’s green team has established a major facility at Hazelmere in Perth, where we have been managing and trialling technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs for technology demonstration. Our dedicated specialist teams have worked relentlessly to bring our own heavy industry decarbonisation into reality.”

FFI has created iron ore with more than 97 per cent purity at low temperature in a continuous flow process during the initiative. The initiative also trialled the use of waste from the green iron process to make green cement with other sourced materials.

The testing also included the combustion of ammonia to create renewable green fuel, design and construction of a combustion testing device for ship engines, the finalised design of a next generation ore carrier. For mine sites, Fortescue has tested battery cells to be used on its haul trucks, and designed and constructed hydrogen powered technology for drill rigs and haul trucks. Fortescue plans to become a major renewable energy and industry product exporter. As part of this plan, the company is aiming to meet or beat their target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

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