Foran Mining Corporation says its 100% owned McIlvenna Bay deposit will become the world’s first carbon neutral copper development project. The company has partnered with leading carbon measurement and sustainability advisory firms, Carbonzero and Synergy Enterprises, to accurately record its emissions and purchase verified offsets for the carbon emitted from all exploration activities over the past 10 years at the deposit.
The move it says underscores Foran’s commitment to building the world’s first fully carbon-neutral copper mine “and is part of its broader mission to create a blueprint for responsible mining that causes the least possible harm from day one through the innovative use of technology, renewable energy and fleets of electric vehicles and equipment.”
McIlvenna Bay is a copper-zinc-gold-silver rich VMS deposit intended to be the centre of a new mining camp in a prolific district that has already been producing for 100 years. McIlvenna Bay sits just 65 km from Flin Flon, Manitoba and is part of the world class Flin Flon Greenstone Belt that extends from Snow Lake, Manitoba, through Flin Flon to Foran’s ground in eastern Saskatchewan, a distance of over 225 km.
Lateral development will be achieved using conventional jumbo drill and blast methods. Typical ramp dimensions will be 5.0 m wide by 5.5 m high to accommodate the 50 t haul trucks. The round length will be 4 m. The blasted material from development rounds will be mucked using LHDs and standard ground support will be installed using mechanised bolters. The company currently envisages the potential use of 7 Sandvik LH517i LHDs and 11 Artisan Vehicles (Sandvik) Z50 battery electric trucks.
By offsetting the carbon emitted in the exploration phase, Foran aims to ensure that it accounts for the entire impact of the project from development, through to operations, to eventual closure. The offsets, which neutralise emissions produced through land-use changes and clearing, fuel-use for exploration and travel to and from the site, will be purchased in the coming weeks and will help provide funding for a mix of projects including a wind power project in Guatemala, and a forest protection project in Inner Mongolia. GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions associated with the project will be measured in line with the ISO 14064-1 standard and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard and offset in each subsequent year of the project.
Dan Myerson, Executive Chair of Foran, commented: “This world-first puts McIlvenna Bay at the cutting edge of the sector, in line with our mission to become the world’s first zero-carbon copper producer from day one. Accurate and transparent accounting of our emissions levels in the exploration phase is a critical part of our commitment to ESG principles. And as we mark World Earth Day, it reinforces our duty to ensure we promote responsible mining that is cleaner, safer, fairer, and more productive. We are exploring all kinds of exciting initiatives in line with our audacious mission; this is just the first. McIlvenna Bay will host a centralised mill to support our other world class deposits and we intend to be around for a long time to come. Copper and zinc are essential products that are needed for building a sustainable future such as solar and wind technologies, and electric vehicles. It is imperative we find a way of producing them in a responsible way that lowers social and environmental impact while also creating greater and more sustainable returns, building value for our shareholders, stakeholders and society.”
Jean Rogers, newly appointed Non-Executive Board Member of Foran, commented: “The green transition won’t happen without clean mining. I am therefore proud and supportive of Foran’s efforts to set an example for the mining industry that targets carbon neutrality now, not 10 to 30 years from now. Dan and the team at Foran Mining are committed to operating a carbon neutral copper mine from the start by deploying clean energy sources and automated technology, for the safety of its workers and the benefit of society. Never underestimate the power that one shining example can have on the world, by showing what’s possible in a compressed time frame. The urgency is real. Foran aims to do just that – accelerating the transformation of the mining industry while safely supplying critical natural resources necessary for a clean, sustainable, economy in a manner consistent with the Paris accords.”
Heidi Grantner, General Manager of Synergy Enterprises, said: “We are thrilled to lead the measurement of a comprehensive GHG inventory for exploration activities at McIlvenna Bay. A fully carbon neutral mine accounts for all emissions produced over the lifetime of the project. Foran’s approach is to reduce emissions as much as possible and offset the remainder with verified carbon offset projects. By measuring and offsetting historical emissions from exploration activities, Foran is taking responsibility for unavoidable emissions and using the measurement exercise to inform data-driven decisions about their future impact. We hope this will serve as inspiration for other mines around the world.”
“Carbonzero is pleased to be working with Foran to perform a Greenhouse Gas Inventory Confirmation of the McIlvenna Bay project’s lifecycle and to provide carbon offsets that compensate for the site’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dan Fraleigh, CEO of Carbonzero. “We commend Foran’s sustainability efforts at the McIlvenna Bay site to first reduce and then offset emissions.”