Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, and Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steel producer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly to explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain.
The purpose of the partnership is to explore a breadth of technologies for decarbonization of the entire steel value chain from iron ore mining to steelmaking, including integrating Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and Nippon Steel’s steelmaking technology to establish an innovative steel manufacturing process with low carbon emissions.
Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel share a long history of working together, with the first shipment of iron ore from Australia to Japan coming from Rio Tinto’s Pilbara operations in 1966 and going to Yawata Works in Kitakyushu, now part of Nippon Steel.
With this MoU, Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel are looking to enhance their long-standing relationship by extending it into new areas in support of the shared goal of significantly reducing carbon emissions across the entire steel value chain.
Japan’s recent announcement of its commitment to realize a carbon-neutral society by 2050 has given Japanese companies even greater impetus to accelerate their decarbonization activities. The intent of this partnership is in line with Japan’s climate ambition.
The partners have agreed to a partnership model in line with the long-term and complex nature of the transition to carbon neutrality for the steel industry. This model allows the partners to take a long-term view to enable the pursuit of new and promising technologies as the global steel transition evolves.