hismelt plant in yangkou


Pioneering zero carbon pig iron plant in the USA

The HIsmelt Green Pig Iron Project will be one of the first green pig iron plants in the US, with a defined path to “Net Zero” carbon emissions. This project is expected to produce 1.3M tpa of pig iron in the Ohio Valley, using low-cost, locally sourced raw materials to produce the lowest cost pig iron in North America.

HIsmelt Technology

The Plant will use the HIsmelt iron-making technology, that has undergone 40-years of intensive development by the world’s leading mining and steel companies, with more than $1.5bn of investment to-date. HIsmelt Technology is the only proven, commercialised and environmentally acceptable alternative to the blast furnace globally.

Highly attractive economics

This project has a highly competitive target cash cost due to the unique flexibility of the HIsmelt process, which will allow the Plant to use locally sourced low-cost ferrous “wastes”, such as C-fines (ultra-fine slag fines that cannot be recycled elsewhere), millscale, steel works slags, dusts, sludges, as well as low-grade iron. The elimination of coke ovens, pellet plant and blast furnace (or pellet plant, DRI plant and melter) means low capital is required for this project.

Significant “green credentials”

The Plant will emit “Net Zero” emissions via the use of locally sourced biomass char. Remediation and clean-up of legacy steel wastes, which cannot be recycled or removed profitably by any other operation. The plant generates excess power that can be used to generate hydrogen.

Growth in market and production

Pig demand is expected to increase due to increased use by electric steelmakers to produce higher grade steels and shortages of high-grade steel scrap. The Ohio Valley location will reduce freight costs to northern steel mills. In addition, HIsmelt pig iron product has higher value-in-use than BF pig iron and will command a premium due to lower levels of impurities and higher iron content. This project will provide a template to exploit similar opportunities on a global scale.

Significant social credentials

The Plant will create approximately 200 skilled jobs in the Ohio Valley.

Strong support from strategic partners

Appalachian Iron has been set up by the team that developed the technology for Rio Tinto and Nucor, led by Neil Goodman, an iron and steel industry veteran. We have strong strategic support from Magnum Mining and Exploration, the company that recently purchased Appalachian Iron. Magnum is presently developing a HIsmelt green pig iron project at its Buena Vista iron ore mine in Nevada.

neil-goodman profile

Neil Goodman, President and CEO

40 years’ experience in the design, construction and operation of iron-making plants worldwide, including 20 years on HIsmelt. Designed and operated the commercial scale HIsmelt plants in Australia and China.

preheater rotary from molong

Smelt Reduction Vessel (SRV)

The “Future of Ironmaking” is here

Key Principles

  • The HIsmelt process represents a practical alternative to the blast furnace to produce pig iron
  • HIsmelt is a direct smelting reduction iron-making process that directly smelts preheated ferrous materials (e.g. iron ore fines, C-fines, slags, etc) and reductants (e.g. non-coking coal, biomass char, etc) as the system’s source of reducing agents and heat
  • The ferrous fines, reductants and fluxes are injected into the molten iron bath
  • Fountain of molten metal erupts into the top space by rapid expulsion of CO, H2, N2 from molten bath
  • Reaction gases CO and H2 are combusted with oxygen from hot blast, generating heat
  • Heat from the gas combustion top space and heated metal and slag which fall back into the bath, provide energy for sustaining reduction reactions and direct smelting of iron ore
  • Slag coats and protects water cooled panels, minimizing energy loss
HSVR graphic
Oxygen Enriched Hot Air Blast
Water Cooled Panels
Raw Materials Injection Lances
Slag Notch
Metal Bath
Fore Hearth


A 40-year Development Path Culminating in Commercial Success.

Small Scale Pilot Plant (SSSP) in Germany – 10kt/yr design
HIsmelt Research & Development Facility (HRDF) in Kwinana, Australia, – 100kt/yr design
HIsmelt Kwinana Joint Venture (HKJV) in Kwinana, Australia owned by a consortium of Rio Tinto, Nucor, Mitsubishi and Shougang – 800kt/yr design
Molong Petroleum Machinery purchased the Kwinana equipment from HKJV shareholders
Start of construction of Molong HIsmelt plant in Yangkou, Shandong Province, China
Molong purchased the technology IP from Rio Tinto
2 new HIsmelt plants under construction in China, studies underway for more than 10 plants in China, North America, Europe and Australasia
Two HIsmelt plants operating in China, 8 more under construction, and more than 3 million tonnes of pig iron produced to date. Appalachian Iron purchased by Magnum Mining and Exploration Ltd

Operations at Molong

  • Started up in 2016 for a capital cost of $250m with a design rate of 600kt/yr using hematite.
  • Currently producing at design rate of 50,000t per month @ 99% availability using Australian hematite. More than 2 million tonnes produced to date.
  • Can be increased to 100,000t per month via higher purity feed e.g. C-Fines, and higher oxygen injection.
  • >500,000t produced in 2020, includes 1 month offline due to COVID-19.
  • Production cost lower than local blast furnaces.
  • Low levels of Si and P in pig iron – sold as high-purity pig iron (HPPI) to foundries with a premium vs BF pig iron.

kwinana hismelt plant image overview

Kwinana HIsmelt Plant

molong hismelt plant

Molong HIsmelt Plant

Key Benefits of HIsmelt Technology

Green, Flexible, High Purity and Low Cost

environment icon

Environmental Benefits

Reduced CO2 emissions as well as lower pm10, SOx, NOx, durans/furans and benzene compared to traditional blast furnace operations using sinter plans and coke ovens. Clear and defined path to zero carbon emissions. HIsmelt is the preferred smelter technology for the ULCOS (Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking) program that aims to reduce CO2 emissions of the steel industry by 90%.

flexibility icon

Greater Raw Material Flexibility

Ability to use lower grade raw materials which are not suitable for blast furnace or DRI shaft furnace operation, including high phosphorous, high alumina, and high titanium iron ores, C-fines (ultra-fine slag fines), millscale, steel works slags, dusts, sludges, non-coking coals and biomass. In addition, the raw materials are injected as powders and do not require agglomerating into pellets or briquettes.

cost graphic

Lower Operating Costs

Due to the elimination of front-end processes required for a BF operation (i.e. no coke ovens and sinter plants) and DRI shaft furnaces (no pellet plant) as well as ability to use a wide variety of cheap raw materials.

capital chart

Significantly Lower Capital Costs

Due to the elimination of coke ovens, sinter and/or pellet plants. The construction of a HIsmelt plant is relatively simple as the HIsmelt technology uses many of the traditional ironmaking core plant ancillary facilities, such as hot blast stoves, injection systems and power plants.

ai graphic

Premium Quality Final Product (Pig Iron)

When compared to the traditional BF process, including significantly lower silicon, manganese and phosphorous content. The lower levels of impurities provide yield and fluxing benefits in the downstream steelmaking process for BOF and EAF producers. HIsmelt pig iron will demand higher value-in-use premium than DRI and BF pig iron.

HIsmelt Technology vs Blast Furnance

Carbon Emissions:
HIsmelt vs Blast Furnace

co2 emissions chart

Pig Iron Quality:
HIsmelt vs Blast Furnace

pig-iron chart

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