CSIRO and Fortescue; next generation collaboration

May 7, 2019

Australia’s mining industry has long been at the forefront of technology advancements, and at Fortescue we have a very proud track record of embracing innovation.

Our people are at the heart of our successful automation and technology projects. Anyone can use a smart phone, but it is how you use the applications and functions that delivers real benefits. Similarly, it is the people and processes behind the technology that achieve the genuine benefits of innovation.

Just as our people have been critical to our success, so to have our relationships and partnerships. As the world develops at a rapid pace, it is increasingly important to identify and partner with those who are prepared to challenge the status quo.

In November 2018, we announced a landmark partnership with the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency to capitalise on the economic opportunities associated with hydrogen and support the development of a competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.

The CSIRO have developed metal membrane technology (MMT) that enables ammonia to be used as a carrier material for hydrogen storage and transport, making the transportation of low emissions hydrogen economically viable. We see potential for this technology to establish bulk export market opportunities with further research required to determine if MMT can be developed on a commercial scale.

By combining CSIRO’s global leading research and development with Fortescue’s capability to rapidly develop new technologies, we will firmly establish our position in the global hydrogen industry, the low emission fuel of the future

Recently, over 20 CSIRO top scientists and researchers visited Fortescue’s operations in the Pilbara to learn more about our business. The team had the opportunity to see our wholly owned, integrated mining operations and infrastructure, together with our innovative processing and blending strategy and our world leading autonomous haulage system.

The two-day trip was an opportunity for the CSIRO and Fortescue teams, to meet, share ideas and build the foundation for a truly collaborative relationship. This allows the teams to challenge each other, to respond rapidly and adapt the technology to meet respective project needs.

Fortescue’s support of CSIRO’s MMT is the beginning of a five-year relationship.  We will make additional investments in a range of CSIRO technologies across the hydrogen value chain and will actively examine further opportunities for collaboration on a range of issues.

We believe that the next generation of the mining and resources sector will be built on relationships and increasing cooperation and innovation within and outside of the industry, and our relationship with the CSIRO will be at the forefront of Fortescue’s journey.