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Vale, Baowu to develop low-carbon method of steelmaking

Brazilian miner Vale SA and Chinese state-owned steelmaker China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd have agreed to develop a way of making steel that leaves a smaller carbon footprint, Vale says.

The companies will together study the economic feasibility of producing biochar – a carbon-neutral material based on biomass – and using it in blast furnaces instead of fossil fuels, Vale announced in writing  last week.

Vale says it will consider investing up to 70 million yuan (about US$11 million) in a pilot project by Baowu to build a biochar plant.

The endeavour is meant to help Vale reduce its emissions by 15 percent by 2035 and become carbon neutral by 2050, the company says.

Last month Vale announced a deal with another Chinese steelmaker, Jiangsu Shagang Group Co. Ltd, to study the economic feasibility of using high-grade iron ore for steelmaking.