Vale USA (a wholly-owned subsidiary of mining company Vale) has been selected by the US government to begin award negotiations for the construction of an iron ore briquette plant.

The negotiations are part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding, within the Industrial Demonstrations Programme. Vale’s project envisages the development of an iron ore briquette industrial facility in the US, the first in the world applying the proprietary cold-agglomeration process for briquettes customized for the direct reduction route. 

Vale’s project was selected through a mechanism focused on spurring technologies that can demonstrate commercial-scale solutions to deliver significant emissions reductions in the hard-to-abate sectors. Award negotiations shall occur in mid-2024. 

The briquette is produced from the low-temperature agglomeration of high-quality iron ore using a technological solution of binders which give the final product high mechanical strength. The first plant in the world was inaugurated by Vale in 2023, in Vitória, Brazil. 

Vale will negotiate an award for up to $282.9 million for the US project and looks to develop additional, customized facilities in Brazil and worldwide, to reach around 100Mt/yr of agglomerates production by 2030, including iron ore briquettes and pellets.