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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)


    ARENA Program

    Iron and Steel Research and Development Funding Round

  • Start date

    1 March 2024

    End date

    29 June 2029

  • Project Partners
    Grange Resources
    Roy Hill
    Swinburne University of Technology


CSIRO will accelerate development of a novel iron ore agglomeration method designed to operate at lower temperature while maintaining the desired physical and metallurgical agglomerate properties. The technology is known as the Lime Magnetite Pellet (LMP) process. 


This project was selected as part of the competitive Iron and Steel R&D Funding Round under the Transformative Research Accelerating Commercialisation (TRAC) Program to create solutions for Australian iron ore, predominantly comprised of lower grade ore from the Pilbara, and to decarbonise domestic steel production. Near-term investment in innovative R&D is a critical enabler to rapidly develop the technologies required to transition to a net zero future state. Projects supported by the Iron and Steel R&D Funding Round seek to accelerate novel and innovative low emissions iron and steel technologies using Australian iron ore. 

Ongoing decarbonisation initiatives in the steelmaking industry necessitate high-grade (iron > 66%) ironmaking feedstocks, which are heavily impacting Australia’s iron ore export market. This project aims to produce a new, premium quality agglomerated ironmaking product that exploits Australia’s vast, albeit largely underutilised magnetite ore reserves, as well as existing abundant lower-grade goethite/hematite-rich ores.  


The project will develop the LMP process investigating the use of hematite feedstock and testing of the technology at pilot-scale. 

The novelty of the LMP process is distinguished by its lower operating temperature (~300°C) compared to the conventional pellet process (1350°C) along with the use of partially reducing induration conditions that favours the formation of the calcio-magnetite phase, a better reducible and physically strong bonding phase. 

Building on the foundation of LMP research to date, CSIRO will scale-up the LMP process and expand the application to other iron ore types. The project will initially test the LMP technology at a pilot-scale, and then at a commercial pellet plant, evaluating the economic viability and technical challenges arising from retrofitting LMP technology to an existing pellet plant along with the suitability for LMPs in future hydrogen-ironmaking.


The project will achieve the following outcomes: 

  1. Development of innovative and/or step change emissions abatement pathways for ironmaking by demonstrating a low-temperature agglomeration method suitable for Australian iron ores. 
  2. Reduction in or removal or barriers associated with using lower-grade Australian iron ores in low emissions iron and steel production. 
  3. Increased understanding of the economic viability for retrofitting existing pellet plants with a low emission iron ore agglomeration technology. 
  4. Increased research capacity in the Australian iron and steel sector, and the facilitation of collaboration between research groups and industry. 
  5. Improvement in the technology readiness and commercial readiness of the LMP process. 
Last updated
10 April 2024
Last updated 10 April 2024
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