There is more than one way to make green steel: Why electricity may be better than hydrogen (The Economist – May 31, 2023)

Steelmakers around the world hope to decarbonise by changing the way they pluck oxygen from iron-oxide ores. This is done using either carbon monoxide (CO) derived indirectly from coke in a blast furnace, or by “direct reduction” with syngas, a mixture of CO and hydrogen.

Both create carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. As a consequence, steelmaking is reckoned responsible for about 9% of man-made greenhouse-gas emissions. A widespread aspiration is thus to introduce direct reduction by hydrogen alone. The only by-product of such a reaction would be water (or rather, steam).

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Canada bans Russian steel, aluminum imports as Joly raises ‘regime change’ in Moscow – by Dylan Robertson (CBC News/Canadian Press – March 10, 2023)

Canada is banning imports of Russian steel and aluminum as part of its sanctions regime, as Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly raises the possibility of regime change in Moscow. Joly made the remarks at a Friday press conference where she discussed the importance of maintaining a diplomatic presence in Moscow.

“We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia,” she said.

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Global collaboration essential to realise $1.4tr iron, steel decarbonisation investment – by Marleny Arnoldi (Mining Weekly – September 15, 2022)

To meet 2050 climate goals, the global iron and steel industry will require $1.4-trillion of investment across the value chain, from mining to steelmaking, estimates research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac).

A research report, titled ‘Pedal to the metal: iron and steel’s $1.4-trillion shot at decarbonisation’, published by WoodMac states that iron and steel emit 3.4-billion tonnes of carbon a year combined, equal to 7% of global emissions. This while steel demand growth is not slowing down, and is estimated to reach 2.2-billion tonnes a year by 2050 – 15% higher than the demand for steel in 2021.

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Electric vehicle industry prizes steel over aluminum, Cleveland-Cliffs CEO says – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – August 22, 2022)

A Detroit automaker and US steel producer sparred at an industry gathering this week on whether steel or aluminum is the preferred metal for electric-vehicle bodies.

The top executive of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the second largest US steelmaker, said that EV companies were preferring steel over aluminum. But an executive director from General Motors Co., the biggest US automaker, said there’s no broad brush.

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Last Stelco blast furnace demolished on Hamilton bayfront – by Matthew Van Dongen (Toronto Star – August 17, 2022)

The towering structure was felled by a controlled explosion just after 9 a.m.

Goodbye Big “E” — it was a blast. The last Stelco blast furnace in Hamilton was demolished Wednesday using a controlled explosion that cut out the supports under the towering steelmaking relic that dominated the western bayfront skyline for more than half a century.

A massive boom that echoed around the harbour was followed by a slow collapse of the roughly 200-foot-tall “E” blast furnace built in 1968 on Pier 16.

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Biggest construction project in Sault’s history is now underway – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business – August 8, 2022)

Algoma Steel has already sunk $103 million into its $703-million electric-arc furnace facility. New buildings will start to rise either late next month or in October

Algoma Steel Inc. has already spent more than $100 million on a two-year, game-changing technology upgrade that local building officials say will be the most expensive construction job in Sault Ste. Marie’s history.

The massive project, expected to cost $703 million, will replace Algoma’s existing blast furnace and basic oxygen steelmaking processes with two new electric arc furnaces (EAFs), allowing 3.7 million tons in annual raw steel production with something like a 70 per cent reduction in annual carbon dioxide emissions.

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With 4,000 Staff in Bunkers, Mariupol’s Steel Mills Are a War Zone – by Marc Champion and Daryna Krasnolutska (Bloomberg News – March 12, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — In normal times, Metinvest Holding LLC is all about making and selling steel. But these are not normal times inside Ukraine.

On Saturday, Chief Executive Officer Yuriy Ryzhenkov was focused on yet another attempt to get humanitarian aid into the eastern port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks by Russian shelling. A convoy of aid trucks and empty buses had just left his company’s steel plant in Zaporizhzhia on the 460 km (285 mile) round trip.

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Ford government eyes ‘green steel’ as way to catch up on cutting carbon emissions – by Mike Crawley (CBC News Toronto – February 17,2022)

Ontario’s steel industry is aiming for a dramatic reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions, a move that will help Premier Doug Ford’s government get closer to achieving its climate-change targets.

The three biggest industrial emitters of CO2 in Ontario are all steel plants. Steel production alone accounts for more than 40 per cent of all industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the province, more than the refinery, forestry, mining and chemical sectors combined.

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Rep. Marcy Kaptur wants crackdown on imported steel of a type produced by Cleveland-Cliffs – by Sabrina Eaton ( – November 2, 2021)

WASHINGTON, D. C. — Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur wants the U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative to crackdown on imports of the electrical transformer components made with foreign-produced grain-oriented electrical steel of the sort produced by Cleveland-Cliffs.

Kaptur on Monday joined Zanesville Republican Rep. Troy Balderson, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Kelly and Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb in a letter seeking relief for Cleveland-Cliffs from the imported electrical transformer parts.

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What the energy transition may bring for five battery metals – report – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Northern Miner – October 18, 2021)

Global mining news

ING Economics has published a new report in which its experts predict what the energy transition might bring for five key metals: copper, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and lithium.

Taking into consideration where different regions of the world stand when it comes to moving towards a low-carbon future where global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, ING’s analysts developed three scenarios that they used as a background to assess the possible performance of battery metals.

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It’s time to end the US steel and aluminum tariffs – by Marc L. Busch (The Hill – August 9, 2021)

In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Sec. of Commerce Gina Raimondo said that U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs had done the trick. Folks were back to work, and producers had increased output.

What about the threat that Europe will increase its retaliation by year’s end if the Biden administration doesn’t end the tariffs? Raimondo said the U.S. is willing to deal but that “to simply say ‘no tariffs’ is not the solution.” Actually, it is.

Raimondo’s statement is the stuff of negotiations. After all, the U.S. isn’t going to start its talks with the European Union (EU) by unilaterally disarming.

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Stainless steel strength and supply hits reinforce nickel – by Andy Home ( – July 21, 2021)

Nickel is making a comeback. A strong pandemic recovery rally was rudely interrupted in March, when China’s Tsingshan Group said it intended to produce battery-grade nickel at its Indonesian operations.

Converting what is currently a process stream for Tsingshan’s stainless steel production to an input for electric vehicle cathode chemistry would undermine nickel’s bull narrative of a looming shortfall of battery-quality metal.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel price slumped from a seven-year high of $20,110 per tonne to $15,665 over the first half of March. It has since clawed its way back to a current $18,400 with ripples of tightness appearing across nearby time-spreads against a backdrop of falling LME inventory.

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Union fears big job losses from going green, after Ottawa pledges $420 million to Algoma’s electric retrofit – by Tom Blackwell (National Post – July 7, 2021)

Union says 2,700 Northern Ontario steelworkers will bear brunt of Canada’s move away from coal

The announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday seemed like undiluted good news. Ottawa would provide $420 million in aid to Algoma Steel so it could convert its coal-fired furnaces to “electric-arc” technology.

Technology that could cut the greenhouse gasses spewed from the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., plant dramatically — by the equivalent of 900,000 gas-guzzling cars. But not everyone was enthused.

The union for Algoma’s 2,700 workers fears the retrofit as described Monday could mean hundreds of fewer jobs, and that a small northern Ontario city will have to bear a lopsided burden for Canada’s carbon-reduction goals.

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REINVENTING THE STEEL: How steel might finally kick its coal habit – by Maria Gallucci ( – February 3, 2021)

About 70 percent of steel today is made how it’s always been
made: in giant, extremely hot furnaces. Purified coal, or
“coke,” is heated and melted with iron oxide and limestone,
then injected with oxygen to reduce the carbon content of
the mixture and to remove impurities.

Coal’s grip on the global electricity sector is loosening as more utilities and companies invest in renewable energy. But one major coal consumer — the steel industry — is finding it harder to kick its habit.

Steel companies make nearly 2 billion tons of high-strength material every year for bridges, buildings, railways, and roads. The furnaces that melt iron ore to make steel consume vast amounts of coal.

As a result, the industry accounts for roughly 8 percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions, as well as a toxic soup of air pollutants.

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Nickel Soars And Could Keep Flying As Demand Rises And Supply Falls – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – January 14, 2021)

Demand up. Supply down. Price heading for a 10-year high. It doesn’t get much better for nickel—except for the potential to get a lot better for a metal which has a well-earned reputation for extreme highs (and lows).

Since suffering a Covid-19 collapse last March when the price fell to $10,800 a ton, nickel has been on a largely uninterrupted rise to last sales at $18,244/t, up almost 70% in 10 months.

Next target for nickel, which is a critical ingredient in high quality stainless steel and the batteries used in most electric vehicles (EVs) is $20,000/t, a level reached in the early 2012.

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