North Coal and Circulor partner to support ESG transparency across the steel value chain, supporting the industry’s transition to net-zero carbon

2 November, 21

North Coal Limited (the Company or North Coal) is pleased to announce its collaborative partnership with Circulor Ltd (Circulor) to establish full Metallurgical Coal (Met Coal) traceability and dynamic CO2 and environmental, social and governance (ESG) tracking for its North Coal Asset in British Columbia, Canada.

Following on from a recent joint investigative project, North Coal will be implementing Circulor’s solution to allow its future market products to transparently demonstrate sustainability performance for ethical sourcing, CO2 emissions, and other key ESG performance metrics (e.g. indigenous engagement and water quality). Circulor’s solution will be used during North Coal’s development phase stage by tracking Met Coal samples from its Michel Project to initial offtake customers and through to end users, such as the construction or automotive sectors. This will be scaled up and made available to all customers once full production begins in 2025.

Currently, there are two main primary steel production methods. Roughly 70% of steel is made in a blast furnace that requires steelmaking coal. The other 30% is made in an electric arc furnace (EAF) using recycled steel and/or direct reduced iron. Whilst efforts are underway to increase EAF production, especially in developed countries where both scrap and renewable energy are readily available, the high proportion of steel produced in blast furnaces is expected to persist for decades. In part this is because of the young capital stock of blast furnaces (75% less than 14 years old with a useful life of around 40 years plus), and in part because there is much blast furnaces can do to decarbonize without major technology changes. As such, it is likely that the majority of global steel produced will be from blast furnaces for several decades, and high quality feedstock materials, including high quality Met Coal, will be required over this period.

Feasibility studies to date indicate that North Coal’s product has a high CSR[1] value, which is a key quality parameter for a decarbonizing steel industry. This product quality combined with the project’s access to hydroelectricity, which make net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions a possibility, make North Coal a likely favourable supplier for steel mills, and downstream end users, looking to reduce their CO2 emissions. This partnership with Circulor enables increased transparency in the steel value chain in terms of understanding material flows and the associated ESG performance over time.

Ian Maxwell, North Coal’s CEO, said: “We are very excited to partner with Circulor and support the transition of the steel industry’s value chain to net-zero carbon and the Sustainable Development Goals more broadly. In order to do that, we first need to demonstrate transparency in where raw materials are coming from and their associated ESG and Indigenous footprint, in order to make transformational improvements. Partnering with Circulor allows us, and our future customers, to do this.”

Yue Jin Tay, Director of Business Development at Circulor, said: “We are delighted to be working with a forward-thinking raw materials supplier such as North Coal. After completing initial traceability work with the company, the expansion downstream will create a lot of value for customers, especially Automotive OEMs whom we currently work with, given their net-zero ambitions.”

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