HIsmelt, short for high-intensity smelting, is the world's first commercial direct smelting process for making iron straight from the ore.
Fine iron ores and non-coking coals are injected directly into a molten iron bath, contained within a Smelt Reduction Vessel (SRV), to produce high quality molten pig iron. It can be considered both as a potential replacement for the blast furnace and as a new source of low cost iron units for BOF or EAF steelmaking.
HIsmelt technology brings many advantages to the steelmaking industry - such as lower operating costs; lower capital intensity, lower environmental impact, greater raw material and operational flexibility.
HIsmelt licences are available to steel producers throughout the world. Find out more about accessing the HIsmelt technology.
The President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, has visited Rio Tinto's HIsmelt plant in Kwinana, south of Perth, as part of his historic state visit to Western Australia.