Will U.S. enter the race for ‘Green Steel’?

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ThREE Consulting announces Green-Steel Project in Missouri, USA

ThREE Consulting LLC has announced it has applied for DoE FOA funding to generate integrated feasibility studies to validate the techno-economic assessment of its Mine to Metal, Green Steel Project. ThREE has assembled an engineering team and ‘Green Mandate’ investors to collaborate on the development of this project. The overall goal is to produce superior green steel economically while not relying on carbon-capture credits, subsidies or inflated ‘premium pricing’ for Green Steel.

The fully permitted Pea Ridge Iron Ore Mine is located in Washington County, Missouri and hosts the highest-grade magnetite ore deposit in the world.  Feasibility and pre-feasibility studies were produced on reopening the Pea Mine in 2013 and 2008. The Pea Ridge mine is typically compared to Olympic Dam. It has a world-class (USGS) rare earth deposit outside the iron ore orebody. Iron Beneficiation also produces a super high value REE-Apatite concentrate.

The Pea Ridge mine operated for 40 years, producing over 50 million tons of iron ore concentrates ending operations in 2001. The Pea Ridge deposit has approximately 250 million tons of iron ore reserves (conforming to NI 43-101 standards) and the USGS has mapped the continuation of the magnetic anomaly, extending another 2 km below the known and measured ore body. Historically, Pea Ridge iron ore concentrate grades exceeded 68% Fe with limited beneficiation.

With the support of the DoE, under its 0001817 funding opportunity, the feasibility studies will demonstrate the economic benefits of utilizing green technologies. The mine is fully permitted and feasibility production will take less than 18 months. Assuming normal project development timelines and ready investors, the projected steel production start date can be competitive with the state-sponsored SSAB Green Steel project in Sweden.

Green steel is produced by replacing coal or natural gas with carbon-free hydrogen gas to convert the iron ore into steel via a process called Direct Reduction of Iron (DRI). This technology has been around for decades but only makes sense if the hydrogen can be made at cost-parity with carbon-based options. ThREE Consulting will overcome the existing cost disparity by acquiring underutilized nuclear energy from at-risk producers along with excess renewable capacity to produce economic hydrogen, in conjunction with other systems not outlined here (detailed in their DoE application).

Historically, the iron and steel industry have accounted for a large share of all CO2 emissions through heavy reliance on fossil fuels in all aspects of production processes. The increased need for global steel production to meet current and future demands has led to accelerated release levels of greenhouse gas globally.

“ThREE Consulting is ideally situated to lead this project because of the unique geo-chemistry of the iron deposit along with all of the other physical assets already under our control,” said Jim Kennedy, president of ThREE. He added “Reopening the former Pea Ridge Iron Ore mine with green technology will be an economic and environmental win for the region and will demonstrate that the US can lead in advanced green industrial technologies.”

“We are relying on the DoE to fund the project’s engineering phase so that we can demonstrate the economics of Green Steel production to lock-in funding commitments from one or more Green Mandate investors currently considering this project.”

This project will advance the U.S. steel industry and the goals of the DoE and this Administration. Those goals include demonstrating economic pathways to decarbonize U.S. heavy industry, economically stabilizing regional nuclear energy producers and providing high-paying jobs. This project will lead the way towards a new Green Industrial Revolution.” said Kennedy.

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