India's NMDC and NLC and Australia's Environmental Clean Technologies will sign an agreement Wednesday in Canberra that could lead to a new steel plant at Tamil Nadu.
The A$35 million ($26.2 million) master project agreement -- which will support India's steel industry -- includes a research and development project which will use "technologies aimed at lower cost, lower emission iron and steel production utilising lower grade or waste iron ore and low-rank coal resources," ACT said.
The pilot plant will used ACT's Matmor technology to produce 2 mt/hour of steel.
Matmor is a lignite-based primary iron making technology capable of replacing metallurgical coal and high-grade lump iron ore with lower-cost alternative raw materials, ACT said.
The agreement also provides framework for a A$300 million commercial-scale integrated steelmaking facility with the notional production capacity of 500,000 mt/year of finished steel billet.
"The site for the R&D plant has been chosen to allow room for expansion into a commercial-scale facility," ACT said.
"While domestic iron ore supplies could largely support national targets, India's domestic mines produce soft ore, which generate large quantities of fine material [small particle size] which are unsuited to blast furnace operations without expensive processing and upgrading," ACT had said.