One of Australia’s leading decarbonisation and sustainability experts says Western Australian gold producers are not moving fast enough to reduce carbon emissions.
“Some are leading in the carbon space, but most are slow in implementation,” Adam Gangemi, Managing Director of Super Smart Energy, an environmental services company based in Perth, said. “It is time to see more action.”
Gangemi says there are cost-effective solutions to reduce emissions on mine sites that will impact the bottom line, but mining organisations aren’t taking advantage of the technology options that are available on their doorstep.
Speaking on a recent webinar, Gangemi said a Western Australian innovation, Minnovare’s underground drilling optimisation technology, the Production Optimiser, was increasing drilling efficiency, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions, and enabling companies to drill faster, cheaper and more sustainably.
“Minnovare’s Production Optimiser is one of the better solutions that’s come across my desk,” he said. “Even small projects can get big bang for their buck. This drilling solution is one example where a small investment can deliver a 10-fold return through increased production, and significantly avoid those mine site emissions simultaneously.
“Not having to haul or process waste material is a smart way to do this and it is delivering huge results not only from an emissions perspective (thousands of CO2 per year) but also increasing production. If we start to look at opportunities that will both increase production and have the benefit of reducing emissions, this will be a no brainer for underground mining companies.”
Gangemi compared a range of Western Australia Goldfields producers and found that most could be saving anywhere between 1,000 to 8,000 t of CO2 emissions each year by using the Minnovare technology.
“By using the Production Optimiser on site, you drill more accurately and that means more gold on the trucks, less waste and a significant reduction in emissions,” he said. “If we talk about avoiding even 1,000 t of emissions, a WA gold producer could be taking the equivalent of 300 Hilux utes (utility vehicles) off the road every year.”
To demonstrate the emissions savings, Minnovare has launched a new Environmental Impact Calculator, allowing mining companies to quickly compute the emissions they could avoid on site by using the technology.
The Minnovare calculator shows how CO2 emissions are reduced through improved drilling accuracy and uses the company’s own data to forecast emission savings across an operation.
Gangemi’s benchmarking of Australian gold miners showed a greenhouse gas emissions intensity range between 0.2-1.7 t CO2-e/oz of gold.
Mick Beilby, Director and co-Founder of Minnovare, said: “We know the industry wants sustainable outcomes. Through using our technology, companies will achieve less dilution and deviation from an increase in drill quality and this results in less waste.”
Gangemi describes the calculator as ‘very accurate’ and encourages Western Australian producers to use the calculator to understand the savings they can achieve implementing technology products such as the Production Optimiser.