Tag Archives: Climate change

University establishes GHG framework to help miners with climate change challenge

University of Queensland researchers say they have developed a framework that aims to reduce the mining industry’s impact on climate change by accounting for sources and sinks of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The proposed framework, published in Nature Geoscience, will allow the mining industry to better monitor, gather and assess emissions data, identify measurement gaps and evaluate and apply mitigation strategies, according to the researchers.

UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) Researcher and Lead Author, Dr Mehdi Azadi, said primary mineral and metal production accounted for about 10% of the world’s energy-related GHG emissions in 2018.

He said the framework addressed climate change related issues by identifying major mitigation pathways.

“Rising standards of living have led to increasing demand for mining activities to provide the minerals and metals required by many technologies,” Dr Azadi said. “While the mining sector contributes to global emissions, it is also increased affected by climate change.

“Our framework examines the sources of GHG emissions across the mining supply chain – from mining, ore processing, transportation, to waste management – and identifies ways to improve mitigation strategies.

“Fugitive emissions reduction, resource efficiency, energy usage, and biological solutions are the four major pathways we have identified as major opportunities for GHG mitigation in mining. These pathways will allow policymakers and miners to create flexible plans for addressing GHG emissions by taking into account operational requirements and external factors.”

He said the framework was flexible enough to be tailored to a specific commodity, mining operation, climate or country.

“Using this framework, we hope to collaborate with governments, the mining industry and research institutions to create guidelines or toolboxes for certain commodities, climates, countries and operations,” Dr Azadi said.

“Our framework will help the industry reduce its carbon footprint and provide financial benefits by lowering energy consumption across the supply chain, while also decreasing the adverse environmental impacts caused by mining operations.”

For green technologies to be effectively implemented, Dr Azadi said it was essential the mining industry accurately and transparently accounted for GHG emissions.

“But this isn’t just about reducing mining’s effect on climate change, it is also about reducing climate change’s effect on mining; the industry needs accurate data to reduce its carbon footprint and improve risk management.”

The article is co-authored by SMI Associate Professor, Mansour Edraki, UQ and University of Delaware Professor, Saleem H Ali, and University of Technology Sydney’s Dr Stephen Northey.

Professor Ali said carbon accounting in mining was increasingly important because minerals for clean energy infrastructure are being widely explored.

“Understanding the full carbon budget of extraction is important in considering a range of potential supply sources and processing technologies,” he said.

SMI Director, Professor Neville Plint, said the framework reflects the institute’s commitment to working with the minerals industry to implement sustainable changes.

“An important part of improving mining’s role in sustainable a sustainable world is working with industry to develop and implement solutions that are practical and effective – this framework is a great example of that,” Professor Plint said.

Miners need to do more in climate change, decarbonisation battle, McKinsey says

A report from consultancy McKinsey has raised concerns about the mining industry’s climate change and decarbonisation strategy, arguing it may not go far enough in reducing emissions in the face of pressure from governments, investors, and activists.

The report, Climate risk and decarbonization: What every mining CEO needs to know, from Lindsay Delevingne, Will Glazener, Liesbet Grégoir, and Kimberly Henderson, explains that extreme weather – tied to the potential effects of climate change – is already disrupting mining operations globally.

“Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, 195 countries pledged to limit global warming to well below 2.0°C, and ideally not more than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels,” the authors said. “That target, if pursued, would manifest in decarbonisation across industries, creating major shifts in commodity demand for the mining industry and likely resulting in declining global mining revenue pools.”

They added: “Mining-portfolio evaluation must now account for potential decarbonisation of other sectors.”

The sector will also face pressure from governments, investors, and society to reduce emissions, according to the authors.

“Mining is currently responsible for 4-7% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions from the sector (those incurred through mining operations and power consumption, respectively) amount to 1%, and fugitive methane emissions from coal mining are estimated at 3-6%.

“A significant share of global emissions – 28% – would be considered Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, including the combustion of coal.”

While there have been a number of high-profile mining companies making carbon emission pledges in the past 18 months – BHP pledging $400 million of investment in a low carbon plan being one notable example – the authors say the industry has only just begun to set emissions-reduction goals.

“Current targets published by mining companies range from 0-30% by 2030, far below the Paris Agreement goals, which may not be ambitious enough in many cases,” they said.

Through operational efficiency, and electrification and renewable-energy use, mines can theoretically fully decarbonise (excluding fugitive methane), according to the authors, with the disclaimer that building a climate strategy, “won’t be quick or easy”.

Water/heat

Water stress was one area the authors homed in on, saying that climate change is expected to cause more frequent droughts and floods, altering the supply of water to mining sites and disrupting operations.

The authors, using McKinsey’s MineSpans database on copper, gold, iron ore, and zinc, recently ran and analysed a water-stress and flooding scenario to emphasise the incoming problems.

The authors found that 30-50% of the production of these four commodities is concentrated in areas where water stress is already “high”.

“In 2017, these sites accounted for roughly $150 billion in total annual revenues and were clustered into seven water-stress ‘hot spots’ for mining: Central Asia, the Chilean coast, eastern Australia, the Middle East, southern Africa, western Australia, and a large zone in western North America,” the authors said.

The authors continued: “Climate science indicates that these hot spots will worsen in the coming decades. In Chile, 80% of copper production is already located in ‘extremely high’ water-stressed and ‘arid’ areas; by 2040, it will be 100%. In Russia, 40% of the nation’s iron ore production, currently located in ‘high’ water-stressed areas, is likely to move to ‘extreme’ water stress by 2040.”

And, mining regions not accustomed to water stress are projected to become increasingly vulnerable, according to the report.

By 2040, 5% of current gold production likely will shift from ‘low–medium’ water stress to ‘medium–high’; 7% of zinc output could move from ‘medium–high’ to ‘high’ water stress, and 6% of copper production could shift from ‘high’ to ‘extremely high’ water stress.

The authors said: “Depending on the water-intensiveness of the processing approach, such changes, while seemingly minor in percentage terms, could be critical to a mine’s operations or licence to operate.”

Mining executives in these regions are acutely aware of the water issue, according to the authors.

“For instance, Leagold Mining recently shut down its RDM gold mine in Brazil for two months because of drought conditions, even though it had built a dam and a water pipeline,” they said.

Even in areas with low water stress, certain water-intensive mining processes are jeopardised.

“In Germany – not a country known for being vulnerable to drought – a potash miner was forced to close two locations because of severe water shortages in the summer of 2018, losing nearly $2 million a day per site,” they said.

“The frequency and severity of these conditions are expected to increase along with the current climate trajectory.”

To improve resiliency, companies can reduce the water intensity of their mining processes, the authors said. They can also recycle used water and reduce water loss from evaporation, leaks, and waste. Mining companies can, for example, prevent evaporation by putting covers on small and medium dams.

In the long term, more capital-intensive approaches are possible, according to the authors. This could involve new water infrastructure, such as dams and desalination plants. Companies can also rely on so-called “natural capital”, like wetland areas, to improve groundwater drainage.

The authors said: “The option of securing water rights is becoming harder and can take years of engagement because of increased competition for natural resources and tensions between operators and local communities. Basin and regional planning with regulatory and civic groups is an important strategy but cannot alone solve the underlying problem of water stress.”

On the reverse, flooding from extreme rains can also cause operational disruptions, including mine closure, washed-out roads, or unsafe water levels in tailing dams, with flooding affecting some commodities more than others based on their locations.

The authors’ analysis showed iron ore and zinc are the most exposed to ‘extremely high’ flood occurrence, at 50% and 40% of global volume, respectively.

“The problem is expected to get worse, particularly in six ‘wet spots’ likely to experience a 50-60% increase in extreme precipitation this century: northern Australia, South America, and southern Africa during Southern Hemisphere summer, and central and western Africa, India and Southeast Asia, and Indonesia during Southern Hemisphere winter,” the authors said.

Companies can adopt flood-proof mine designs that improve drainage and pumping techniques, the authors said, mentioning the adaptation of roads, or the building of sheeted haul roads, as examples.

Moving to an in-pit crushing and conveying method would also help alleviate potential floods, replacing mine site haulage and haul roads with conveyors.

When it comes to incoming extreme heat in already-hot places – like China, parts of North and West Africa and Australia – the authors noted that worker productivity could fall and cooling costs may rise, in additon to putting workers’ health (and sometimes their lives) at risk.

“Indirect socioeconomic consequences from climate change can also affect the political environment surrounding a mine,” they said.

Shifting commodity demand

Ongoing decarbonisation is likely to have a major impact on coal – “currently about 50% of the global mining market, would be the most obvious victim of such shifts”, the authors said – but it would also affect virgin-ore markets.

“In a 2°C scenario, bauxite, copper, and iron ore will see growth from new decarbonisation technologies offset by increased recycling rates, as a result of the growing circular economy and focus on metal production from recycling versus virgin ore,” they said.

At the other end of the spectrum, niche minerals could experience dramatic growth. As the global electrification of industries continues, electric vehicles and batteries will create growth markets for cobalt, lithium, and nickel.

Emerging technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture would also boost demand for platinum, palladium, and other catalyst materials, while rare earths would be needed for wind-turbine magnets.

The authors said: “Fully replacing revenues from coal will be difficult. Yet many of the world’s biggest mining companies will need to rebalance non-diverse mineral portfolios.

“Many of the largest mining companies derive the bulk of their earnings from one or two commodities. Copper-heavy portfolios may benefit from demand growth due to widespread electrification, for example. And iron ore- and aluminium-heavy portfolios may see an upside from decarbonisation technologies, but they are also more likely to be hit by rising recycling rates.”

According to the authors, the mining industry generates between 1.9 and 5.1 gigatons of CO2-equivalent of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Further down the value chain (Scope 3 emissions), the metals industry contributes roughly 4.2 gigatons, mainly through steel and aluminium production.

To stay on track for a global 2°C scenario, all sectors would need to reduce CO2 emissions from 2010 levels by at least 50% by 2050, they said.

To limit warming to 1.5°C, a reduction of at least 85% would likely be needed.

“Mining companies’ published emissions targets tend to be more modest than that, setting low targets, not setting targets beyond the early 2020s, or focusing on emissions intensity rather than absolute numbers,” the authors said.

To estimate decarbonisation potential in mining, the authors started with a baseline of current emissions by fuel source, based on the MineSpans database of mines’ operational characteristics, overlaid with the possible impact of, and constraints on, several mining decarbonisation levers.

The potential for mines varied by commodity, mine type, power source, and grid emissions, among other factors.

“Across the industry, non-coal mines could fully decarbonise by using multiple levers. Some are more economical than others – operational efficiency, for example, can make incremental improvements to the energy intensity of mining production while requiring little capital expenditure,” they said. Moving to renewable sources of electricity is becoming increasingly feasible too, even in off-grid environments, as the cost of battery packs is projected to decline 50% from 2017 to 2030, according to the authors.

“Electrification of mining equipment, such as diesel trucks and gas-consuming appliances, is only starting to become economical. Right now, only 0.5% of mining equipment is fully electric.

“However, in some cases, battery-electric vehicles have a 20% lower total cost of ownership versus traditional internal-combustion-engine vehicles. Newmont, for example, recently started production at its all-electric Borden mine in Ontario, Canada.”

The authors said: “Several big mining companies have installed their own sustainability committees, signalling that mining is joining the wave of corporate sustainability reporting and activity. Reporting emissions and understanding decarbonisation pathways are the first steps toward setting targets and taking action.”

Yet, these actions are currently too modest to reach the 1.5-2°C scenario and may not be keeping up with society’s expectations – “as increasingly voiced by investors seeking disclosures, companies asking their suppliers to decarbonise, and communities advocating for action on environmental issues”.

They concluded: “Mining companies concerned about their long-term reputation, licence to operate, or contribution to decarbonisation efforts may start to consider more aggressive decarbonisation and resilience plans.”

Newmont lauded for leading ESG practices

Newmont, this week, has been recognised by a trio of independent organisations for its management performance and social responsibility, action on climate-related issues and advancing women in the workplace.

The leading gold miner, which is scheduled to produce 6.4 Moz of gold in 2020, ranked as the top mining company on FORTUNE’s 2020 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies based on an in-depth global survey conducted by the magazine. It posted strong scores across several dimensions, including quality of management, social responsibility, long-term investment, people management and innovation, it said.

At the same time as this, for 2019, Newmont earned a ‘B’ in CDP’s (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) Climate Change assessment, reflecting the company’s coordinated action on climate issues.

“Newmont was recognised for strong climate governance and financial planning in response to climate-related impacts,” the miner said, adding that it ranked above average for all responders in the metallic minerals mining sector and all business sectors in North America and globally.

For the second consecutive year, Newmont was also included in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the company’s efforts to advance qualified women in the workplace. Newmont is one of 325 companies, spanning 50 industries globally, to be included in this year’s GEI.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Continuing to thrive in our next 100 years will require strong and transparent corporate governance, responsible environmental stewardship, and a diverse and inclusive workplace that allows us to attract and retain top talent.

“Aligning our business strategy with the interests of our shareholders and stakeholders through leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices is key to creating sustainable, long-term value in the years and decades ahead.”

In December, Newmont was ranked the top mining company in Newsweek’s first-ever list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2020. Of the 300 businesses selected for inclusion in Newsweek’s index, the company placed 39th overall.

This followed, in September 2019, Newmont being named the top global gold mining company on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth consecutive year, being the overall mining and metals industry leader for four of those years.

Metso’s GHG targets recognised as ‘science-based’

Metso’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets have won the approval of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), demonstrating the mining equipment and service provider is doing its fair share in trying to achieve the global climate change goals as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The GHG targets are part of Metso’s Climate Program and, the company says, are applicable to all relevant emission sources: production, procurement, inbound and outbound transportation as well as the use of Metso’s products.

The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. The initiative aims at promoting science-based target setting and driving down GHG emissions.

The initiative is tied to the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw 195 of the world’s governments commit to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to below 2°C.

Metso says it is one of the few corporations in its field to join SBTi in the efforts to prevent global warming.

As a scope 1 and 2 GHG target, Metso has committed to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions in production by 2030. This is achievable by investing in renewable energy and improving the energy efficiency of the production processes, the company said.

“Metso demands sustainability not only of its own production, but also 30% of its suppliers in terms of spend are required to set science-based emission targets by 2024,” the company said.

By streamlining transportation routes and optimising warehouse locations, Metso aims for a 20% reduction in transportation emissions by 2025 (scope 3 GHG emissions target).

Through extensive research and development work, Metso has been able to significantly reduce the energy consumption in customer processes, it said. To continue this development, the company is aiming for a 10% reduction in GHG emissions in the most “energy-intensive customer processes” using Metso products by 2025.

“This is further reinforced by the demanding energy-efficiency targets in all Metso R&D projects. As supportive actions, Metso will also offset flight emissions by 100% by 2021 and continue to find new ways to decrease emissions, for example, in offices,” it said.

Metso President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo, said: “We are extremely happy about the ratification of our science-based CO2 emissions targets.

“Our Climate Program is an important step in our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is also an essential element in Metso being a responsible and trusted partner to our customers. We aim to improve our customers’ productivity in a sustainable manner, and we involve all our stakeholders in reaching this goal.”

For Metso, Scope 1 emissions are generated from fuels used in production, Scope 2 emissions are generated from the purchased energy and Scope 3 emissions are generated from transportation, procurement, travelling and product use, it said.

In 2018, Metso’s emissions clocked in at over 1 Mt of CO2, including 655,732 t from purchased goods and services, 136,968 t related to production, 161,629 t in “upstream” transportation, 77,821 t in “downstream” transportation and 22,256 t in business flights.

At the same time, the emissions saved in Metso product use in 2018 amounted to more than 1.07 Mt of CO2 through its energy-efficient grinding solutions HRC™, Vertimill® and SMD (stirred media detritor).

BHP to lead from the front on sourcing, diversity, inclusion, climate change

BHP’s Group Procurement Officer, Sundeep Singh, took to the IMARC stage this week to talk about the major miner’s experience in responsible sourcing, diversity and inclusion, and climate change.

He said taking responsibility in all of these areas was not only right, but good for shareholders and business, going on to provide several examples of how the company was displaying industry leadership in these spaces.

Among the initiatives mentioned by Singh at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), in Melbourne, was the company’s goal to be gender-balanced by 2025. Three years ago when the company made this pledge, women made up 17.6% of its workforce. Today, that number has climbed to 24.5%.

Data collected by BHP shows more inclusive and diverse teams outperform other teams on safety, productivity and culture. Highlighted in this is an up to 67% lower injury rate, 11% better adherence to schedule and 28% lower unplanned absence.

The company has gone further than this, working with other suppliers like ESS Compass, Blackwoods and Komatsu to make sure the machines it uses, the clothes employees wear, the food they eat and the camps they live in are more inclusive, he said.

“Another example is the work that we have done with Kal Tire, a tyre management and fitment organisation that supplies to our Spence operation in Chile. This job requires physical strength, which has been historically restricted to larger men,” he said.

BHP worked with Kal Tire to implement a program that trained women to complete the task and also implemented a zero weight arm. This saves people lifting a torqueing tool that can weigh around 20 kg by simply holding the tool in position when torqueing each bolt, according to Singh.

“The program eliminated the need for physical strength as a pre-requisite for the role, making it not only safer, faster but also more inclusive,” he said.

On the issue of climate change, Singh talked up the company’s progress, highlighting the company’s world-first tender earlier this year for LNG-powered vessels for its maritime transport operations as it works towards a goal of net-zero operational emissions by 2050.

Singh said BHP is working with its suppliers and customers to reduce emissions from the transportation, processing and use of its products.

“Ambitious emissions targets will only be achieved by a supply chain that allows us to collaborate with partners like Adelaide-based Voltra who last year helped to develop the world’s first electric UTE, ahead of Tesla,” he said.

“This is a welcome addition to a growing fleet of light electric vehicles that will “significantly reduce our category 1 emissions”, he said.

When it came to ethical sourcing, he said BHP is continually reviewing and assessing its supply chain, applying the framework established through its own Human Rights Centre of Excellence and Global Contract Management System.

“No-one wants to work with unethical suppliers,” he said. “Having high-risk partners is ultimately expensive for everyone and represents significant exposures. Human Rights violations are the furthest anyone could possibly be from shared value.”

Through the system, BHP knows 96% of its direct suppliers are concentrated in 10 countries, Singh said.

Along these lines, last month BHP partnered with Dyno Nobel to invest in a blast technology research program to improve the safety, productivity and sustainability of its Australia operations.

As well as researching ways to lift safety through reduced nitrous oxide fumes that result from blasting and driving productivity from improved fragmentation via differential energy blasts, this partnership represents a joint commitment to eradicate the use of palm oil in the explosive manufacturing process, according to Singh.

“And, as you may know, a recent and rapid increase in palm oil production, has resulted in an increase in deforestation – destroying habitats, displacing local communities and contributing to climate change,” he said.

“As a part of our agreement, Dyno Nobel will only use certified sustainable raw materials and products. If they use forestry-based products, including palm oil, they will give us information on the country and company of origin, and evidence that they are certified sustainable.”

If palm oil is included, Dyno Nobel will include a timeline and plan for its replacement with an alternative product, he added.

While Singh acknowledged that, in the past, BHP didn’t always get it right with its suppliers and “their experience has been varied”, he did say the company is now focused much more on seeking to establish a supplier relationship model based on sustainable mutual commercial value built on long lasting partnerships that unlock value for all of its businesses.

BHP’s supply chain spans 60 countries, 10,000 partners with an annual spend of $20 billion across its capital and operating expenses portfolio in its 2019 financial year. It sourced 215,000 different types of material and equipment for its Australian operations alone in that year.

BHP stresses importance of ‘social value’ in strategic decision-making

While many miners look to emphasise the way they obtain and retain their social licence to operate during exploration, development and operations, BHP said this week that “social value” plays an important role in its decision-making.

At a briefing in London on October 8, BHP Chief External Affairs Officer, Geoff Healy, said: “We are moving from a position of maintaining ‘a social licence’ to creating ‘social value’.

“For us, it is – plain and simple – good business. We are part of a society that expects more of us. We recognise that our success depends on our ability to earn their trust and confidence. And we know that this means changing the way we do business at all levels, from local to global.”

Healy said that when the company makes business decisions, both financial value and social value considerations come into play – “each depends on the other for the decision to be effective”, he added.

During the briefing, Healy said the company makes a relatively small number of large, long-term capital investments that are structurally immobile – “we can’t just close up the factory and relocate when the going gets tough”. This means when BHP invests in a region, it becomes part of the local community for decades, with the miner, sometimes, creating those communities.

“Our portfolio is simple – yet the inherent risks are complex and wide-ranging,” he said, explaining that circa- 80% of the company’s EBITDA is concentrated in Western Australia, Queensland and the northern Atacama region of Chile; 55% of its revenue is derived from China; and over 80% of its products emit CO2 in its customers’ value chain.

“An imbalance in our community relations in a few locations has the potential to fundamentally impact our business: from a reset of fiscal terms, to the refusal of necessary permits and approvals,” he said.

“A disorderly transition to decarbonisation has the potential to threaten the viability of entire commodities in our product suite. And a social and environmental disaster, such as another significant tailings dam failure, has the potential to be existential.”

On the flipside, he said BHP knows that if it manages well its transition – “from ‘social licence to value’” – it will create a “core competitive advantage that will be hard to replicate”.

“Retreating, or seeking a quick, short-term fix, will not work. Getting it right will be differentiating, and value creating,” he said.

In this context, Healy reviewed the results of some of the investments and initiatives the company has undertaken, which has seen the number of high potential injuries reduced by more than 40% in the last three years, the number of women hired since 2015 trebled and over $1.7 billion invested in social programs in the last decade.

Healy said: “All of these commitments stand for nothing unless we hold ourselves to account and are transparent.

“We have made public our emissions targets, our water stewardship efforts, and the taxes and royalties we pay.”

Coming back to the move from ‘a social licence’ to creating ‘social value’, Healy said this transition protects BHP’s business today and positions the company to take advantage of future opportunities.

He said: “To obtain access to the best resources, we must be the partner-of-choice for governments.

“To secure the best talent, we must be committed to making a positive societal impact.

“And, to secure the best partners, we must be trusted by our community partners.”

‘Access’ is the key word here, Healy said, with there being two sides to that word: “One, protecting and maintaining the access we currently have. And, two, securing access to new resources, new talent, and new partnerships to take full advantage of future opportunities.”

In addition to the company’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the recent $400 million investment in technologies to reduce emissions from both BHP’s own operations, as well as those generated in its value chain being the obvious example, BHP is also looking to play its part in ensuring tailings management standards are lifted across all of industry and transforming the way it is managing water and power at Escondida.

The latter includes moving to 100% desalinated water over the medium term and transitioning to 100% renewable power with BHP in the late stages of securing a long-term contract for renewable power supply that could “deliver significant cost savings relative to our current gas-fired supply”, Healy said.

He concluded: “We know that when we consider social impacts in our decision-making; and when we build respectful and mutually beneficial relationships, we create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders; and in particular for our investors.

“We are determined to assess and communicate our progress regularly and transparently.

“And we expect to be judged on the results we produce and the value we create, for you as investors, as well as our broader stakeholders.”

BHP backs low carbon plan with $400 million investment

BHP has announced a five-year, $400 million Climate Investment Program to develop technologies to reduce emissions from its own operations as well as those generated from the use of its resources.

Andrew Mackenzie, BHP CEO, said: the program will, over the next five years, scale up low carbon technologies critical to the decarbonisation of its operations. He added: “It will drive investment in nature-based solutions and encourage further collective action on scope three emissions.

“Commercial success of these investments will breed ambition and create more innovative partnerships to respond collectively to the climate challenge.”

This year alone, BHP has announced several initiatives looking to reduce its carbon footprint, namely: releasing the world’s first bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled ships for iron ore transport, signing an agreement with Mitsubishi to explore new emission reduction technologies and making a $6 million equity investment into Carbon Engineering Ltd, a company looking to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Mackenzie said: “We must take a product stewardship role for emissions across our value chain and commit to work with shippers, processors and users of our products to reduce scope three emissions.”

Other measures the company announced today include:

  • Establishing a new medium-term, science-based target for scope one and two emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. “This is in addition to BHP’s short-term goal to cap 2022 emissions at 2017 levels, and long-term goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century,” the company said;
  • Developing a new climate portfolio analysis report in 2020, following on from BHP’s 2015 two degree scenario analysis. “This new report will evaluate the potential impacts of a broader range of scenarios and a transition to a ‘well below’ two degree world”, and;
  • Strengthening the link between emissions performance and executive remuneration. From 2021, this link will be clarified to further reinforce the strategic importance and responsibility of reducing emissions as a business, BHP said.

Mackenzie concluded: “We require a considered and orderly transition to a lower carbon world, in which resource companies like BHP have both critical expertise and a key role to play.”

Canada government invests in climate change adaptation project for mining

The Government of Canada says it is investing in climate adaptation and resilience, while supplying the minerals and metals needed for clean technologies throughout the world, through the funding of a climate change adaptation project for the mining sector.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, on Friday announced an investment of more than C$325,000 ($238,000) in the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) project.

The investment was announced as part of National Mining Week (May 13 to 19, 2019), reiterating the importance of the mining sector to Canada’s clean growth future, the government said.

Lefebvre said: “By investing in sustainable mining projects like this one by the Mining Association of Canada, our government is helping ensure that our natural resources, including minerals and metals, play an important role in supplying the building blocks for clean technologies across the world. By helping our mining sector to adapt to a changing climate, we are proving once more that the environment and the economy go hand in hand.”

“Funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program, this project will enable MAC to work with industry and other experts to develop best practices and guidance for the mining sector on climate change risks and adaptation measures,” it said.

The project – Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Best Practices for the Mining Sector – will give mine operators the tools and knowledge needed to better plan for climate change in decision-making at all stages of mine life, according to the government. As a result, mining operations will be more resilient to a changing climate and extreme weather events.

With a total value of C$650,000, the project received additional support from MAC, Golder Associates and Lorax Environmental Services.

Pierre Gratton, President and Chief Executive Officer, MAC (pictured), said: “The outcome of this project will be the first of its kind – best practice guidance for our industry to both assess potential future climate changes at mine sites and assess potential impacts of those changes on mine operations and infrastructure.”

This investment builds on other Government of Canada initiatives, namely the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, which was developed in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, industry and civil society. The plan is based on a number of strategic directions for the future of the sector, one of which is the environment, and includes a vision for the continual reduction of mining’s environmental footprint and systematic climate change adaptation planning, the government said.

The Mining Association of Canada is the national voice of the Canadian mining industry, according to the government. “Working alongside its members, MAC promotes the industry nationally and internationally, works with governments on policies affecting the sector and educates the public on the value mining brings to the economy and the daily life of Canadians.”

From May 27–29, 2019, Canada will welcome over 25 countries to this year’s Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Ministerial to discuss a future that is “cleaner, brighter and more prosperous for generations to come”, the government said.

Canada government backs mine rehabilitation plan

The Government of Canada has invested C$184,000 ($138,978) in a climate change project that, the government says, lays the groundwork for the rehabilitation of the country’s abandoned and orphaned mines.

This project, led by the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation, will develop a comprehensive approach for evaluating rehabilitation plans for abandoned mines through a review of 15-20 sites in Ontario and the Northwest Territories, including an in-depth review of three sites, the government said.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to ensure that rehabilitation plans for today’s abandoned mines will address the climate change risks of tomorrow, while protecting the health and safety of Canadians as we enhance our stewardship of the land around us,” the government said.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced the investment: “Our government is supporting projects that help us expand our understanding of the impacts of climate change,” he said. “With this knowledge, we can help ensure today’s plans for abandoned and orphaned mine rehabilitation will reduce the climate-change risks of tomorrow.”

Today’s announcement supports the objectives of the Adaptation and Resilience pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change by turning scientific information and traditional knowledge into action, the government said. It is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program.