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Gupta plans expansion of Whyalla iron ore and green steel – reports

Manufacturing News

GFG Alliance chairman Sanjeev Gupta has announced a massive boost to his Whyalla, South Australia iron ore mining operations as well as the production of green steel from hydrogen via direct reduction.

Reports in the Channel 9 and News Corporation media said his company planned to quadruple the workforce of his Whyalla mining and steelworks operations, boosting magnetite iron ore mining more than ten-fold.

Magnetite is a type or iron pre that is particularly suited to direct reduction, avoiding the highly polluting traditional method of producing steel in a blast furnace utilising coke.

In August GFG Alliance’s mining arm, SIMEC Mining produced its first high quality GREENSTEEL pellets that will underpin the future of steel production utilising hydrogen.

The pellets were produced from the company’s Duchess South drill core in the Southern Middleback Ranges using innovative technologies proposed for SIMEC’s magnetite mining operations which are currently being expanded.

However Gupta has now expanded his vision in a speech to a Perth conference saying the combination of renewable energy and soon hydrogen, sourced from the South Australian State Government’s planned green hydrogen plant, meant Whyalla was perfectly placed to be at the heart of a transformation of Australia’s steel industry.

According to reports he told the Australian Hydrogen Conference in Perth: “These pellets are the mineral equivalent of a 1999 vintage Penfolds Grange.

“We could, of course, just sell them on, and no doubt we shall be doing that as well. But in line with our philosophy of climbing the value chain, we will also be making and selling the wine, not just exporting the grapes.

“Using hydrogen made in the South Australian government’s electrolyser, we’ll be producing high-grade green iron using green hydrogen.”

Gupta outlined plans to boost magnetite production in SA to 30 million tonnes a year from today’s 2.5 million tonnes.

This would be expanded to 15 million tonnes a year by 2026 and reach the 30 million tonnes in 2030.

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Picture: Liberty Steel Group

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