Hydrogen in Mining – Thematic Research

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Hydrogen remains one of the most abundantly available and commonly known elements in the world, and it will become a game-changer with its noteworthy contribution to clean energy transitions. Sectors such as oil refining and ammonia, methanol, and steel production have been using hydrogen extensively. Hydrogen will play a critical role in the transition to clean energy with the advancement of its applications in sectors such as transportation and haulage (fuel cell vehicles), buildings (hydrogen blending), and power generation.

Hydrogen technology is now reaping the benefits of unprecedented political and business momentum, with many strategies, policies, and hydrogen projects worldwide expanding swiftly. In the mining sector hydrogen is forming part of many miners decarbonization pathways, either as carbon-free fuel to displace diesel in heavy equipment, such as haul trucks and trains, or to generate electricity to power processing plant, with testing already underway and the potential for it to be used more widely before the end of the decade.

Key Production Methods of Hydrogen

The key production methods of hydrogen are steam methane reforming, coal gasification, and electrolysis.

Steam methane reforming

Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) is a process used to produce hydrogen on a large scale in the gas manufacturing industry. In the SMR process, high-temperature steam is used to convert methane, such as natural gas, into pure hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a relatively small amount of carbon dioxide. The hydrogen produced is purified to quality as per the customer’s specifications. Thanks to the technology’s maturity and advanced research and utilization, SMR is the most common and economical way to produce hydrogen.

Coal gasification

Coal gasification is a process that is used to turn brown coal, which contains a high percentage of oxygen and hydrogen, into hydrogen.

In the mid-nineteenth century, coal gasification was used to produce town gas, which was used for local heating, lighting, and cooking. Most of these purposes are now met by natural gas. Gasification converts fuel or waste into a combustible gas mixture through partial oxidation at very high temperatures.


Electrolysis produces hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through the application of electricity and it has attracted significant attention due to its potential as a sustainable production process. The electrolysis process was first used commercially in 1890 and although the electrolysis market is currently very small, it is expected to record fast growth in the future. This reaction takes place in a unit called an electrolyzer, which consists of an anode and a cathode separated by an electrolyte. The process of electrolysis takes place at room temperature.

Key Technology Trends of Hydrogen in the Mining Industry

The key technology trends of hydrogen in the mining industry are electrolyzers – first step towards clean hydrogen production, hydrogen energy storage, renewable technology improvements, growing carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment, and waste to hydrogen tech.

Key Macroeconomic Trends of Hydrogen in the Mining Industry

The key macroeconomic trends of hydrogen in the mining industry are hydrogen cost – a barrier, focusing on costs across the transportation sector, increased flexibility, and hydrogen import-export partnerships on the rise.

Key Regulatory Trend of Hydrogen in the Mining Industry

The key regulatory trend of hydrogen in the mining industry is hydrogen adoption strategies across different countries.

Hydrogen offers a potential solution to many countries for restructuring their future energy demand as well as decarbonization bids. Some of the major economies in the world have begun to address this potential by forming energy strategies outlining the hydrogen economy in their respective countries. The plans to realize a hydrogen economy encompass production methods, storage and distribution systems, development of potential sectors that would utilize hydrogen fuel, necessary investment plans, and supporting regulatory framework.

Hydrogen Energy Value Chains

GlobalData’s hydrogen energy value chains are split into four segments: energy source, production, transportation, storage, & distribution, and end use.

Energy source: Hydrogen is produced from natural gas, coal, and water. Hydrogen can be produced from energy sources such as nuclear and renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biomass. The major process used to produce hydrogen from natural gas is called steam methane reforming.

Transportation, storage, & distribution: Hydrogen is transported through pipelines, over the road in compressed gas cylinders or cryogenic liquid tanker trucks, or via rail or barge, among other ways. Hydrogen used for portable or stationary energy applications can be transported via trucks to a storage site in cylinders or cartridges.

Key Mining Companies Associated with the Hydrogen Theme

The key players in the hydrogen mining industry are Anglo American, Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal, Australian Vanadium, Glencore, Ivanhoe Mines, Macarthur Minerals, and Province Resource Ltd.

For more insights on the use of hydrogen in the mining industry, download a free sample

Hydrogen in Mining Market Report Overview

Key hydrogen production methods Steam Methane Reforming, Coal Gasification, and Electrolysis
Key technology trends Electrolyzers – First Step Towards Clean Hydrogen Production, Hydrogen Energy Storage, Renewable Technology Improvements, Growing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Deployment, and Waste to Hydrogen Tech
Key macroeconomic trends Hydrogen Cost – A Barrier, Focusing on Costs Across the Transportation Sector, Increased Flexibility, and Hydrogen Import-Export Partnerships on the Rise
Key regulatory trend

Value Chains

Hydrogen Adoption Strategies Across Different Countries Energy Source, Production, Transportation, Storage, & Distribution, and End Use
Key mining companies Anglo American, Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal, Australian Vanadium, Glencore, Ivanhoe Mines, Macarthur Minerals, and Province Resource Ltd


  • The report contains an overview of the Hydrogen in mining industry including hydrogen production and transportation, as well as hydrogen application technologies in the mining industry.
  • It provides detailed information on technological, macroeconomic, and regulatory developments, demand analysis, capacity outlook, production cost by technology, mergers and acquisitions, and a value chain.

Reasons to Buy

  • To gain an understanding of the hydrogen in mining industry, relevant driving factors
  • To understand hydrogen technology and trends
  • To identify key mining players in the hydrogen industry
  • To gain an understanding on the hydrogen value chain

Anglo America
Fortescue Metals Group
Rio Tinto
Australian Vanadium
Ivanhoe Mines
Macarthur Minerals
Province Resource Ltd

Table of Contents


Executive Summary


Technology Briefing

  • Production of hydrogen
  • Transportation of hydrogen
  • Application technologies


  • Technology trends
  • Macroeconomic trends
  • Regulatory trends

Industry Analysis

  • Global pure hydrogen demand analysis
  • Hydrogen demand across key industries
  • Low-carbon hydrogen capacity outlook
  • Hydrogen production cost by technology
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Timeline

Value Chain

  • Energy source
  • Production
  • Transportation, storage, and distribution
  • End use



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