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BHP Billiton and China’s Baosteel Corporation have signed an agreement to facilitate joint technical research to enhance the use of raw materials in iron and steel making.

The Technical Collaboration on Ironmaking and Steelmaking Raw Materials aims to better understand how the characteristics of the raw materials used to make steel impact on steel plant operations, and help optimise the iron and steelmaking processes.

The agreement provides a long term framework for a range of specific joint technical studies. Collaborative studies in iron ore have been agreed and discussions on other raw material studies are being held.

BHP Billiton Chief Commercial Officer, Marius Kloppers said that the agreement would enable joint understanding of the true value of BHP Billiton products under conditions specific to Baosteel’s operations.

 “The studies will facilitate the ideas of engineers and operators, allowing them to road-test new products and convert their results into supply contracts,” Mr Kloppers said.

 “The agreement gives China’s largest steel company a platform to conduct strategic technical work with the world’s largest resource company, in what we believe will be a significant customer-supplier alliance. The results of this joint research will enable BHP Billiton to tailor marketing solutions for Baosteel, providing benefits for both companies,” he said.

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