Tag Archives: greenhouse gas emissions

Australian Mines makes history with certified carbon neutral status

Australian Mines says it has become the first mineral resources company to be certified a “Carbon Neutral Organisation” under the Australian Government’s Climate Active program.

Climate Active is the most rigorous and credible carbon neutral certification available in Australia, according to the company, and meeting the “Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard” means Australian Mines’ carbon neutral status is based on best practice, international standards and genuine emissions reductions.

Last month, the Queensland Government offered a conditional financial support package to Australian Mines’ 100% owned Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in the north of the state. When fully developed, Sconi is forecast to be one of the most cost competitive cobalt-producing, nickel operations in the world, Australian Mines says.

The 2018 Sconi bankable feasibility study outlined a three open pit, 2 Mt/y operation that could produce some 8,496 t/y of cobalt sulphate, 53,301 t/y of nickel sulphate and 89 t/y of scandium oxide over the 18-year mine life.

“Australian Mines ability to maintain carbon neutral certification will underpin its position as a sustainable business that incorporates leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices,” it said. The company is already an approved member of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), which independently verifies and certifies socially and environmentally responsible mining.

Australian Mines’ Managing Director, Benjamin Bell, said becoming the first Climate Active Carbon Neutral mineral resources company is consistent with Australian Mines’ commitment to leading on ESG.

“It follows the approval in March 2020 of our membership of IRMA and the Queensland Government recognising our commitment to the communities where we operate by granting ‘Prescribed Project’ status to our flagship Sconi project in 2019,” he said.

Australian Mines’ primary focus is to sustainably develop the Sconi project into a globally significant, ethical, reliable source of technology metals to meet the rapid growth in the electric vehicle and energy storage industries, it says.

A key part of sustainably developing Sconi is the company’s carbon neutrality plan designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing energy saving initiatives coupled with offsetting any unavoidable emissions.

“Being certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active is part of building a sustainable future for Australian Mines, long-term value for our shareholders and a better environment for all our stakeholders,” Bell said. “Members of the Climate Active Network are responsible for over 22 Mt of carbon emissions being offset, which is the equivalent of taking all of Sydney’s cars off the road for two years.”

Polymetal and SMT Scharf sign underground electric vehicle MoU

Polymetal and SMT Scharf have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a potential strategic cooperation in underground electric vehicles (EV) development in line with the miner’s climate strategy.

The MoU outlines that Polymetal and SMT will cooperate in the development, implementation and testing of zero-emission battery EVs. Initially, the collaboration is to be focused on mid-ranged LHDs and trucks, with potential involvement of drill rigs and utility vehicles in the future, Polymetal said.

IM understands Polymetal has previously tested RDH (now owned by Scharf under RDH-Scharf) battery-electric machines at some of its underground mines.

Two pairs of units (an LHD and truck) are going to be tested at Polymetal’s operations during the one-year trial with further collaborative re-design, signing of a distribution agreement and establishment of an after-sales support centre, Polymetal said, adding that the strategic cooperation is set to last for 10 years with an opportunity for further extension.

“The partnership with SMT grants us an easy access to customisable battery-electric vehicles which could positively contribute to our operating costs dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and personnel safety at underground mines,” Vitaly Savchenko, COO of Polymetal, said. “It fits well into our strategy to gradually involve EVs across the group’s operations and marks another step towards cutting carbon emissions by 5% in 2023.”

Polymetal’s GHG emissions from mining fleet and mobile machinery at the hubs with underground mines for 2019 were 334 Kt of CO2 equivalent, which is 12% of the group’s total emissions (Scope 1+ 2).

Hudbay invests in comminution energy efficiency research with CEEC sponsorship

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced new sponsorship from base and precious metals mining company, Hudbay Minerals Inc.

Hudbay, a diversified mining company producing copper, zinc, gold and silver, owns three polymetallic mines, four ore concentrators and a zinc production facility in Canada and Peru (Constancia, pictured), as well as copper projects in the US. Its vision is to be a responsible, top-tier operator of long-life, low-cost mines in the Americas, CEEC says.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said that with growing global demand for minerals such as copper to support the shift towards low-carbon technologies, the need for lower footprint mineral processing was becoming even more critical.

“Rock crushing and grinding can typically account for more than half of a mine’s energy consumption,” she said. “By working together as an industry to understand and optimise comminution challenges, we have the opportunity to improve efficiency and environmental outcomes.

“We’re delighted that Hudbay has joined our list of visionary sponsors, each committed to collaborating with CEEC’s global network of miners, suppliers and researchers to advance efficient, cost-effective, lower footprint mining.”

Peter Amelunxen, Hudbay Vice President of Technical Services, said increasing performance and delivering sustainable value involves a combination of operational know-how and technical sophistication.

“We recognise that collaboration with CEEC is a positive step in our commitment to continuous improvement.”

Amelunxen said Hudbay was particularly interested in “adding a metric to our success” by contributing to the CEEC Energy Curves database. This free tool allows users to benchmark the energy efficiency of sites and visually assess potential energy and cost benefits through various operational scenarios.

“We’ve always approached what we do in terms of improving cost and energy efficiencies,” he said. “However, we’re most excited about using the Energy Curves to quantify, pound for pound, the energy reduction piece.

“This will help inform our decisions around targeted enhancements to existing sites and plan best practice operations in future mines. The bottom line is that this tool will enable us to demonstrate how we are improving environmental management while also improving returns for shareholders.”

David Clarry, Hudbay Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, said data sharing through the CEEC Energy Curves, and broader initiatives such as participation in the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), were important for the industry.

“By being transparent and sharing knowledge, we can learn from each other and find novel approaches for achieving environmental benefits in a cost-effective way,” Clarry said. “Tapping into all the resources that CEEC offers gives us cutting-edge learnings so we can continue to pursue economically viable opportunities to improve energy efficiencies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate-related risks.”

Keogh said with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many businesses around the world, Hudbay’s sponsorship during this time was commendable.

“As a lean, virtual not-for-profit, we thank all our sponsors for their continued support during this period of uncertainty,” she said. “This ongoing commitment will help CEEC and the industry to weather the storm and come out stronger and more sustainable on the other side.”

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.

New initiative to track GHG emissions in materials supply chain

Rocky Mountain Institute, MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines have announced the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET).

This effort aims to build a standard method for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in materials, “an important step in decarbonising mineral and industrial supply chains”, the partners said.

The COMET method will provide insight into the carbon content of consumer products like cars, buildings, and phones, and will help both corporations and consumers purchase materials and products with fewer embedded CO2 emissions, according to the partners.

Paolo Natali, Director of the Materials Initiative at Rocky Mountain Institute, said: “We all know that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Until people know the climate impact of the products they’re using, it will be impossible for them to demand lower-carbon goods, and it will be impossible to decarbonise the industrial sectors that are responsible for 40% of annual greenhouse gas emissions.”

While climate disclosure is increasing, it remains a challenge to compare greenhouse gas emissions across companies and supply chains, the partners said. “There is currently no consistency in data collection or reporting across methods, and no framework that spans the entire supply chain,” they said. “This means there is no universally accepted way to know the emissions intensity of products or materials.”

The COMET method will change that by making GHG disclosure comparable across the existing reporting mechanisms and helping to develop a clear picture of emissions from the production of key materials like steel, copper, and cement, it said.

Suzanne Greene, Program Manager for MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, said: “Our ultimate goal is transparency of climate impacts across the supply chain. An emissions calculation method for mineral and industrial supply chains is an important first step for consumers and investors to understand and drive the decarbonisation of the goods we use every day.”

COMET will initially focus on developing sector-specific guidance for metals and minerals.

Teck examines solar power options with acquisition of SunMine energy facility in BC

Teck Resources says it has purchased the SunMine solar energy facility in Kimberley, British Columbia, from the City of Kimberley.

SunMine, located on fully reclaimed land at Teck’s former Sullivan Mine site, is a 1.05 MW solar facility that has been operational since 2015. It is the first grid-connected solar facility in the province and the first built on a reclaimed mine site. It also has potential for future expansion, according to Teck.

Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck, said: “Our involvement with SunMine is part of our commitment to taking action on climate change, advancing renewable energy development, and supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“SunMine will help us gain first-hand experience with solar power generation as we advance the use of solar power at other operations.”

Teck has been involved with SunMine from its beginning, having provided the land and site infrastructure for development of the solar facility. Teck’s former Sullivan mine was a major producer of zinc, lead and silver, operating for nearly 100 years before closing in 2001, and close to 1,100 ha of the former mining area has since been reclaimed.

Development of SunMine aligns with Teck’s approach to working with stakeholders to develop post-mining land uses, from wildlife habitat to economic diversification, the company said.

Since 2011, Teck has implemented projects and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its operations by 289,000 t – the equivalent to taking over 88,000 combustion engine cars off the road, according to Teck – and 81% of Teck’s total electricity consumption is from renewable energy sources.

The sale amount is around C$2 million ($1.53 million), equal to the City of Kimberley’s outstanding debt obligation for SunMine, Teck said.

ICMM looks to align mining industry on cleaner, safer vehicles

When the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) launched its Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) program just over a year ago, some industry participants may not have realised how much progress could be made so quickly by taking a collaborative approach.

The ICMM has proven influential across the mining industry since its foundation in 2002 in areas such as corporate and social governance, environmental responsibility, and stakeholder relations, yet it has rarely, until this point, engaged directly as an industry group with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers.

Close to 12 months after being established, it’s clear to see the program and the council itself has been successful in bridging a divide.

It has been able to corral a significant portion of the mining and mining OEM market players into a major industry discussion on core focus areas set to dominate the sector for the next two decades.

Now 27 of the world’s leading mining companies and 16 of the best-known truck and mining equipment suppliers are collaborating in a non-competitive space “to accelerate the development of a new generation of mining vehicles that will make vehicles cleaner and safer,” the ICMM says.

The ICSV program was created to address three of the most critical safety, health and environment performance issues in the ICMM’s mission towards zero harm and decarbonisation. Achieving this goal would involve the industry introducing and adopting the next generation of equipment to respond to the challenges.

More specifically, the program aims to:

  • Introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040;
  • Minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025; and
  • Make collision avoidance technology (capable of eliminating vehicle related collisions) available to mining companies by 2025.

In all three, it seeks to address the industry’s innovation challenge of ‘who motivates who’ or the chicken and egg analogy, according to Sarah Bell, Director, Health, Safety and Product Stewardship for the ICMM.

“You can imagine a mining company saying, ‘we can’t adopt technology that doesn’t yet exist’ or an OEM saying, ‘we can’t invest in development because we’re getting mixed market signals’. This is, of course, why this program has been set up in the way it has,” she told IM. “Bringing both the mining company and OEMs together, they have been able to work through these normal innovation challenges and align on defining the direction of travel and critical complexity to be solved for each of the ambitions set.”

High-level participation

The list of companies the ICMM has been able to involve in this program is impressive.

It is being guided by a CEO advisory group of six; three from the mining community – Andrew Mackenzie (CEO, BHP), Mark Cutifani (CEO, Anglo American) and Nick Holland (CEO, Gold Fields) – and three from the mining equipment supply side – Denise Johnson (Group President of Resource Industries at Caterpillar), Max Moriyama (President of the Mining Business Division at Komatsu) and Henrik Ager (President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology).

On the mining company front, ICMM membership makes up around 30% of the total metal market share, with some 46% in copper, 27% in gold and 42% in iron ore. Participating OEMs and third-party technology providers, meanwhile, include the three majors above, plus Cummins, Epiroc, Wabtec Corporation (formerly GE), Hexagon Mining, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Liebherr, MacLean Engineering, MTU, Modular Mining Systems, PBE Group, Nerospec, Future Digital Communication and Miller Technology.

Bell says the high-level participation builds the “widespread confidence” needed to accelerate investment in these three key areas”, while the ICMM’s focus on the leadership side of the technology integration equation and change management has proven “absolutely key”.

She clarified: “This collaboration operates under anti-competition and anti-trust rules. Our role is to convene the parties, motivate action and promote solutions.”

The program offers a “safe space for the OEMs and members to work openly in a non-competitive environment”, she added, explaining that the aim is not to come up with “preferred technologies”, but define the “functional and operational pathways required to meet the ambitions set”.

Vehicle interaction (VI)

Some of the ambitions look easier to achieve than others.

For instance, collision avoidance and proximity detection technology has made huge strides in the last decade, with the ICMM arguing its 2025 target is like a “sprint”, compared with the “10,000 m race” that is minimising DPM underground by 2025 and the longer-term aim to introduce GHG-free surface mining vehicles by 2040.

“There are regulations that require implementation of collision avoidance and proximity detection technology by the end of 2020 in South Africa,” Bell said. This will undoubtedly provide a catalyst for further developments to speed up.

The ICSV program is also leveraging the work of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) in its development of fundamental functional/performance requirements for operators and technology providers.

These requirements were updated and released by EMESRT in September and are known as ‘PR5A’.

Credit: Hexagon Mining

Bell delved into some detail about these requirements:

“The EMERST requirements are designed around a nine-level system that seeks to eliminate material unwanted scenarios such as – equipment to person, equipment to equipment, equipment to environment and loss of control,” she said.

“The fundamental change with this newly released set of functional requirements by EMESRT is that the mining industry users have defined the functional needs for levels 7-9 (operator awareness, advisory controls, and intervention controls). That stronger level of collaboration hasn’t necessarily been there.”

EMESRT and its guidelines have been given an expanded global platform through the ICMM’s ICSV, with the program, this year, providing the convening environment for users and technology providers to help finalise these updated requirements, according to Bell.

With all of this already in place, one could be forgiven for thinking the majority of the hard work involved with achieving the 2025 goal is done, but the working group focused on VI knows that while OEMs continue to retrofit third-party vehicle collision and avoidance systems to their machines the job is not complete.

“Let’s think about the seatbelt analogy: you don’t give buyers of vehicles a choice as to whether they want a seatbelt in their car; it just comes with the car,” Bell said.

“At the moment, by design, vehicles don’t always have this collision and avoidance systems built in, therefore there is a big opportunity for collaboration between OEMs and third-party technology providers.”

Underground DPM goals

“The DPM working group have recognised that, in the case of the DPM ambition, ‘the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed’,” Bell said.

“Bringing together the OEMs and the mining companies this year through the ICSV program has enabled the group to explore the variety of existing solutions out there today,” she added.

These existing solutions include higher-tier engines, battery-electric equipment, tethered electric machinery, fuel cell-equipped machines for narrow vein mining and solutions to remove DPMs and other emissions from the environment like Johnson Matthey’s CRT system.

And, there are numerous examples from North America – Newmont Goldcorp at Borden, and Glencore and Vale in Sudbury – South America – Codelco at El Teniente Underground – and Europe – Agnico Eagle Mines at Kittilä (Finland, pictured) – to draw from.

Bell also mentioned some examples from Australia where regulatory changes have seen miners apply existing technology and carry out changes in their work plans and maintenance practices to minimise DPM emissions.

Haulage and loading flexibility, battery charging and mine design have all come under the spotlight since these new generation of ‘green’ machines have emerged, so achieving the 2025 goal the ICSV stated is by no means a foregone conclusion.

“There remains more work to do in achieving diesel-free vehicles underground,” Bell said.

The interested parties are aware of this and the program’s DPM maturity framework is helping miners and OEMs plot a course to reaching the target, she explained.

“The DPM maturity framework promotes existing solutions available today that would enable a mining operation to reduce their DPM emissions to a level that would meet the ambition level (shown as Level 4 – transition to zero),” she said.

These frameworks are useful for starting a “change conversation”, Bell said, explaining that mining companies can assess within their organisations where they currently sit on the five-level chart and discuss internally how to move up the levels to meet their goals.

These same frameworks look beyond minimising “the operational impact” of DPM emissions underground, with Bell explaining that Level 5 of the maturity framework involves “non-DPM emitting vehicles”.

GHG-free surface mining vehicles

Even further in the distance is the longer-term target of introducing greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040.

This ambition, more than any other, is less clearly defined in terms of technological solutions across the industry.

While battery-electric solutions look like having the goods to reach DPM-free status underground with expected developments in battery technology and charging, the jury is still out on if they can create a GHG-free large-scale open-pit mining environment.

The world’s largest battery-electric haul truck – eMining’s 63-t payload eDumper (pictured) – may have proven its worth at a Ciments Vigier-owned quarry in Switzerland, but the world’s largest open-pit mines require a solution on another scale altogether.

As Bell said: “There is a lot of work to do to develop batteries at scale for surface fleet that suit the different operating conditions.

“That’s a key point because that lends itself to the fact that we don’t want one solution; we will need multiple solutions. We don’t want to stifle innovation; we want to encourage it.”

ICMM member Anglo American has hinted that hydrogen power could be one solution, and the miner is looking to show this next year with the development of its hydrogen-powered 300-t payload haul truck.

There has also been in the last 18-24 months a mini renaissance of trolley assist projects that, ABB’s Gunnar Hammarström told IM recently, could, in the future, work in tandem with battery-powered solutions to provide a GHG-free solution.

The ability for industry to pilot and validate technology options like this “within the boundaries of anti-competition” is crucial for its later adoption in the industry, Bell said.

She said a key enabler of industry decarbonisation is access to cost competitive clean electricity, which would indicate that regions like South America and the Nordic countries could be of interest in the short and medium term for deploying pilot projects.

It is this goal where the industry R&D spend could potentially ramp up; something the ICMM and the ICSV is aware of.

“For the OEMs and mining companies to effectively minimise capital expenditure, optimise R&D expenditure and reduce the change management required by the industry, there needs to be a careful balance of encouraging innovation of solutions, whilst managing the number of plausible outcomes,” Bell said.

In terms of encouraging the development of these outcomes, carbon pricing mechanisms could provide some positive industry momentum. Vale recently acknowledged that it would apply an internal carbon tax/price of $50/t when analysing its future projects, so one would expect other companies to be factoring in such charges to their future mine developments.

Industry-wide GHG emission caps could also provide a catalyst. In countries such as Chile – where up to 80% of emissions can come from haul trucks, according to ICMM Senior Programme Officer, Verónica Martinez – carbon emission reduction legislation could really have an impact on technology developments.

Forward motion

While 2019 was a year when the three working groups – made up of close to 50 representatives in each work stream – outlined known barriers or opportunities that might either slow down or accelerate technology developments, 2020 will be the year that regional workshops convened to “encourage first adopters and fast followers” to move these three ambitions forward take place, Bell said.

A knowledge hub containing the previously spoken of maturity frameworks (delivered for all three groups) will allow the wider industry outside of the ICMM membership to gain a better understanding of how the miner-OEM-service provider collaboration is working.

Bell said the ICMM already has a number of members testing these group frameworks on an informal self-assessment basis to understand “how they are being received at an asset level and feedback insights to the group in an effort to understand how we may portray an industry representative picture of where we are today”.

Such strategies bode well for achieving these goals into the future and, potentially, changing the dynamic that has existed between end users and suppliers in the mining sector for decades.

Bell said: “The feedback that we got from OEMs is that mining companies had completely different objectives, but they have now greater confidence that we are aligned on the direction of travel towards the ambitions set.”

Metso looks to grind down GHG emissions with energy-efficient technology

Having recently won the approval of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, Metso’s Climate Program now has the recognition it deserves.

The GHG goals are applicable to all relevant emission sources: production, procurement, inbound and outbound transportation as well as the use of Metso’s products.

Following on from this environmental win, IM put some questions to Metso’s Director of Sustainable Business Development, Kaisa Jungman, to find out what impact these climate change aims might have on the mining equipment manufacturers’ product offering and how the company is already leading from the front with its environmental sustainability initiatives.

It’s worth acknowledging, first, that these GHG goals are all-encompassing.

As a scope 1 and 2 GHG target, Metso has committed to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions in production by 2030, while 30% of its suppliers – in terms of spend – are required to set science-based emission targets by 2024. Metso also aims for a 20% reduction in transportation emissions by 2025 (scope 3 GHG emissions target) by streamlining transportation routes and optimising warehouse locations.

Through extensive research and development work, Metso says it has been able to significantly reduce the energy consumption in customer processes. 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.

The company is also demanding energy-efficiency targets in its Metso R&D projects, and offsetting flight emissions by 100% by 2021.

The target to lower GHG emissions by 10% in the most “energy-intensive customer processes” stood out in these targets, and it was hardly surprising to find out grinding falls into this category.

“Grinding is the most energy-intensive stage of minerals processing,” Jungman said. “Overall, it is estimated that comminution counts for 3-5% of the energy consumption in the world and grinding is part of this.”

In the company’s climate program it has included three of its products – the HRC™ high pressure grinding roll, Vertimill® and stirred SMD (stirred media detritor) – to help achieve this 10% cut in GHGs.

“We have estimated, based on our installed base, in 2018, that approximately 1,073,648 t of CO2 emissions were saved through these energy efficient grinding technologies,” she said, explaining that these savings were calculated by comparing its three solutions with conventional technology.

At this stage, it is only the HRC, Vertimill and SMD included in this calculation – due to their substantial energy and emission reduction credentials and the company’s ability to quantify accurately the estimated savings – but Jungman said Metso plans to widen the scope of the technologies to be included.

“In addition to our climate program, we are also looking into other environmental benefits the customers are gaining through our solutions,” she said.

“To improve energy and emissions efficiency in the future, our target is that all our R&D projects will set energy-efficiency targets by 2021.”

She concluded on these technologies: “I would say that this climate program is an important first step and we will continue developing even more comprehensive sustainability targets for our technologies.”

When it comes to displaying evidence of where the company is reducing scope 1 (generated from fuels used in production) and 2 (generated from purchased energy) emissions, Jungman could point to several examples.

“We have installed solar panels in some of our locations already and are looking now for opportunities to install more in several locations in the coming years,” she said.

In some of the company’s facilities, a percentage of the electricity it purchases is already from renewable sources, and Metso is investigating the possibilities of expanding this, Jungman added.

“In addition to electricity consumption, we are also searching for renewable alternatives for the other forms of our energy consumption, including, for example, replacing natural gas consumption with renewable alternatives.”

The company has also, in recent years, invested in many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, according to Jungman.

“As an example, in our foundry in China, we have invested in a new type of melting furnace to gain better energy efficiency.

“In another production location, we have installed technology to recover process heat from the exhaust air to be used as heating energy. We have also invested in the process automation and insulation of the furnaces to gain better energy efficiency.”

She concluded: “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something we take seriously, and to which Metso is fully committed. We want all our stakeholders to be involved in the work to reach these important targets and to aim even higher.”

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).

thyssenkrupp looks to go ‘climate neutral’ by 2050

thyssenkrupp has set some ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals as it looks to fall in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The group aims to cut 30% of its emissions from production and outsourced energy by 2030, and become “climate neutral” by 2050, it said.

thyssenkrupp CEO, Guido Kerkhoff, said: “The threats posed by climate change affect us all. As an industrial company with operations around the globe, we are in a particularly good position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable products and processes. We take this responsibility very seriously and have received several awards for this in recent years. Now, we are setting ourselves clear targets for 2030 and 2050 as the next logical step.”

In February, thyssenkrupp was named as a global leader in climate protection for the third year in a row by the non-governmental organisation, CDP, which assesses whether companies have formulated a coherent strategy on how to further improve their own environmental performance as well as that of customers and suppliers. The company, once again, achieved the highest score possible and was placed on CDP’s global ‘A List’, it said.

The targets now announced take in thyssenkrupp’s own production operations, the energy it purchases and its products. In steel production, for example, thyssenkrupp is currently pursuing two approaches to reducing CO2 emissions: The Carbon2Chem project, which is expected to be available on an industrial scale before 2030, and the so-called hydrogen route, which should take full effect by 2050 and make the biggest contribution to directly avoiding CO2. Carbon2Chem converts steel mill emission gases, including the CO2 they contain, into valuable chemicals.

thyssenkrupp’s hydrogen route, meanwhile, involves replacing coal with ‘green’ hydrogen as the reducing agent for blast furnaces so that, in the long term, no CO2 is created in the production of steel. These technologies are being funded by the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Under its Climate Action Program for Sustainable Solutions, thyssenkrupp will also systematically work to make its products carbon neutral. The group already offers a technology for the cement industry that permits CO2 emissions from the combustion processes to be captured for subsequent storage or processing. In the area of sustainable mobility, thyssenkrupp is working with European partners to produce fuel from biomass. These fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared with conventional fuels, according to thyssenkrupp.

Other key areas include the e-mobility sector, where thyssenkrupp supplies battery production lines and special steels for electric motors. The group is also actively involved in the development of energy storage solutions, for example with electrolysis systems that convert electricity into hydrogen. These storage systems allow a constant supply of electricity from renewables regardless of the weather, thyssenkrupp says.

Dr Donatus Kaufmann, thyssenkrupp Board member responsible for technology, innovation, sustainability, legal and compliance, said: “Our goals are ambitious but achievable. Our strategy for our steel operations alone will cut production-related emissions there by 80% by 2050. But if we are to achieve our climate targets, we need to make significantly more use of renewable energies. Also, there are no internationally harmonised financial incentives for investments in CO2 abatement technologies. These are basic requirements for making a real change.”