Ironveld plc (“Ironveld” or the “Company”), the AIM-quoted mining development company, is pleased to confirm that its subsidiary, Ironveld Energy (Pty) Limited (“Ironveld Energy”), has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with BurnStar Technologies (Pty) Limited (“BurnStar”), to proceed towards a binding Legal Agreement under which BurnStar will, implement its patent-pending ‘Guilt-Free Hydrogen’™ technology, to process Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) on-site at Ironveld’s Rustenburg smelter.
Under the Agreement, BurnStar will produce hydrogen as a furnace-reductant gas which could significantly reduce Ironveld’s carbon consumption and enable Ironveld to produce premium-priced ‘green metals’ in South Africa.
Martin Eales said, “This is a hugely significant step for Ironveld. Our partnership with BurnStar will allow us to benefit from an on-site supply of hydrogen at extremely attractive prices, which has the potential to virtually eliminate carbon consumption from our production process and achieve ‘green metal’ end products. This may lead to Ironveld having the ability to certify its end products, ensuring that its sustainability credentials are reflected in its market value. We look forward to finalising the formal Legal Agreement with Dr Brand and his team in the coming months.”
Dr Johan Brand said, “Our technology produces “Turquoise Hydrogen” which stands apart from ‘grey’ and ‘blue’ hydrogen because no CO2 is produced during pyrolysis of the LNG. Furthermore, all the carbon produced can be sold as a bio-char replacement in fertilizer and will therefore become permanently sequestered. The plant is scheduled to be installed before year-end and will demonstrate ‘Guilt-Free Hydrogen’™ commercialisation at a large-scale industrial facility.”
The LOI states that Ironveld Energy and BurnStar intend to enter into the binding Agreement under which BurnStar will supply and install, at its own cost, a plant at Ironveld’s Rustenburg smelter capable of producing hydrogen from LNG at the rate of five kilograms (“kg”) per hour.
Much research has been undertaken into the possibilities of using hydrogen as a reducing agent in smelting processes, including iron ore and scrap iron and steel. Iron and steel makers are actively developing processes and technologies to replace carbon-based reductants with hydrogen.
Once the BurnStar plant is established at the Rustenburg smelter and is producing hydrogen, Ironveld intends to evaluate its use as the reducing agent in its smelting process. The hydrogen will be supplied by BurnStar at costs at or below current market rates. If successfully applied to Ironveld’s production, this will enable the Company to significantly reduce its carbon consumption over and above the benefits of the solar-hybrid power plant, due to be commissioned in Q3 2023.
BurnStar has successfully completed testing of its pilot plant and has secured all funding to design, build, own and operate a commercial-sized unit and to demonstrate the production of up to five kg of hydrogen per hour.