A system and method for cooling and removing metallic iron and other aggregate from a moving hearth is provided. Cooling may be provided by a secondary cooling system and a spray cooling system in a cooling zone. The secondary cooling system may include an arrangement of coolant tubes for absorbing heat. A flow of nitrogen may be provided through the cooling zone. The spray cooling system may provide evaporative cooling. Aggregate removal may be provided by a magnetic removal system, a plow system, and a sweeper system. The magnetic removal system uses a magnetic device and a moving belt to remove iron materials. The plow system uses a plow to separate and remove aggregate from the moving hearth. The sweeper system may use a vacuum device to pull materials from the moving hearth.
 The present invention was made with support by the Economic Development Administration, Grant No. 06-69-04501, and the Department of Energy, Sponsor Award DE-FG36-05G015185. The United States government may have certain rights in the invention.