Vale, Brazil’s largest mining company, has produced many iron ore pellets without using coal, a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions.
To produce pellets, coal is usually mixed with iron ore before being heated in furnaces.
In a Vale pilot project conducted in February 2023 at a plant in Minas Gerais, the company replaced traditional coal with biochar derived from biomass.
During the first pilot project, 15,000 tonnes of carbon-free pellets, 100% bio-carbon based, were produced. This product is a renewable energy source obtained by carbonizing biomass.
This year, Vale will conduct more trials to replace coal completely with environmentally friendly raw materials for pellet production by 2030.
In the coming years, Vale plans to increase high-quality pellets production volume, despite the difficult market conditions.
It is scheduled that pellets production will reach 50-55 million tonnes in 2026, compared to 32 million tonnes in 2022.
In 2030, it will reach about 100 million tonnes.
Vale is one of the three largest mining companies in the world that intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and to do so, the Company announced the start of production of new products with a level of low carbon dioxide emissions by 2023.