UK-based metal processing technology company Binding Solutions Limited (BSL) has secured an investment of $17.5m from Australian miner Mineral Resources (MinRes).

The funds raised by BSL will be used for the design and construction of a plant to demonstrate its new technology that can produce 50tph of cold-bonded iron ore pellets.

BSL has developed and patented a process where minimal heat and limited energy are applied for producing high-quality pellet or briquette products primarily for the global iron ore and steel industry.

Application of the new technology is claimed to lower energy consumption and CO₂ emissions by up to 95% and 93%, respectively, when compared to traditional induration processes. It can virtually eliminate SOₓ and NOₓ emissions as well.

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By GlobalData

In addition, capital investment costs are expected to come down by around 90% per one million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of production. 

MinRes managing director Chris Ellison said: “BSL’s technology has the potential to rapidly play a major role in the decarbonisation of the global steel industry. MinRes has a track record of using innovation to solve problems and unlock value, and we are excited to partner with BSL to support this innovative technology.” 

BSL is considering several potential locations to build the demo plant in the UK, the European Union and Western Australia. It aims to make a decision regarding the site by the end of this year.

Through the investment, MinRes has gained a right to license the technology to manufacture cold-bonded pellets from iron ore at its own mines. It will also become the preferred builder for BSL’s plants in the global markets.

BSL CEO Julian Lee said: “The partnership with MinRes is a hugely significant step for BSL and further validation of the innovative technology we have developed in the UK.

“Working with such a respected player in the global mining industry has the potential to rapidly accelerate and de-risk the rollout of our technology by giving us access to the deep expertise and networks that MinRes has built with some of the industry’s largest players over many years. 

“We are now focused on rapidly progressing plans for our demonstration plant and exploring the potential to apply our technology to lithium, a critical battery material.” 

MinRes also agreed to partner with the UK-based company on several other initiatives, which will use both their strengths in technology development and industrial-scale material handling and mining services.