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Major miner Rio Tinto is looking into the role that steel and iron ore will play in creating an energy efficient future.

In his speech to the Bank of America Securities 2023 Global Metals, Mining and Steel Conference, Rio Tinto chief executive officer (CEO) Jakob Stausholm said that steel and iron ore are key minerals in decarbonising the world.

“We are well positioned for the role of steel and iron ore as core materials in a low-carbon future, and the impact this will have on the iron ore industry over coming decades,” Stausholm told attendees.

Stausholm said the major miner is heading towards having a well-balanced iron ore portfolio which will be resilient and proactive in the ways in which steel decarbonisation could play out.

Pilbara Blend Fines will continue as base load for conventional steel making even as that process improves its carbon footprint, and Pilbara lump will be increasingly valued as a low carbon dioxide substitute for sinter,” Stausholm said.

“And we have the potential to deliver significant value over the longer run, from further beneficiation of Pilbara ores together with our technology partnership approach.”