Australian Mines has teamed up with sustainability, carbon and energy management consultancy, Pangolin Associates, to develop a “Carbon Neutrality plan” and achieve 100% carbon neutral status by June 30.
Australian Mines, which is developing the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland, Australia, aims to become certified Carbon Neutral, under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program, through reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting its remaining carbon-generating activity, it said.
“Making the decision to become carbon neutral is part of Australian Mines’ ongoing commitment to building a sustainable business that incorporates leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices,” the company said.
The move follows the approval of the company’s membership of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) in March 2020. The IRMA is an independent third-party organisation that verifies and certifies socially and environmentally responsible mining, according to Australian Mines, with the company now working towards IRMA certification specifically for the Sconi project.
Australian Mines aims to invest A$1 billion ($604,020) to build a commercial battery metals production plant on the Sconi site. The proposed plant is expected to process 2 Mt/y of ore into battery-grade cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate, with scandium recovery and production of high purity scandium oxide, it says. Over the life of the proposed Sconi project, 1.4 Mt of nickel sulphate and 200,000 t of cobalt sulphate is due to be produced.
Australian Mines Managing Director, Benjamin Bell, said being 100% carbon neutral was an extension of the company’s commitment to taking a leading position on ESG.
“It will follow on from the approval in March 2020 of our membership of IRMA and Sconi being given ‘Prescribed project’ status in early 2019 by the Queensland Government, which is a recognition of our commitment to the communities where we operate,” he said.
Australian Mines is partnering with Pangolin, which works with the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program, to develop a Carbon Neutrality plan. Australian Mines said it expected to begin implementing its plan by June 30 and be formally certified carbon neutral by the government before the end of the year.
Bell added: “We will join more than 90 organisations across Australia that have attained certified carbon neutrality, leading to over 15 Mt of carbon emissions being offset, or the equivalent of 4 million cars being off the road for a year.”