Tag Archives: Scope 2 emissions

Rio Tinto Japan joins GVC Network as part of carbon footprint reduction plan

Rio Tinto Japan has joined Japan’s Green Value Chain Platform Network (GVC Network), a collaboration established by the Ministry of the Environment to lead transparent decarbonisation efforts in the country.

Representative Director and Rio Tinto Japan President, Bill Horie, said: “We are honoured to be welcomed into the Ministry of Environment’s GVC Network and look forward to engaging on innovative approaches with customers, government and industry to help reduce Japan’s carbon footprint.”

Formed in 2018, GVC Network member companies work to set science-based targets for emissions reduction that are economically feasible and effective for the achievement of their Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets; and to share solutions related to renewable energy, energy conservation, or energy storage, Rio said.

Rio Tinto aims to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050. Its efforts to support decarbonisation through state-of-the-art solutions such as START Responsible Aluminium – a leading traceability program – aligns with the GVC Network intentions, the company added.

The GVC Network collaborates formally through networking and has 141 members representing a variety of industries including: electronics, machinery and equipment, automotive, airline, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics, building and construction, real estate, housing, printing, food and beverage, marine, retailing, publishing and logistics.

To help reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050, Rio Tinto is targeting a reduction in emissions intensity by 30% and in its absolute emissions by 15%, both by 2030 and from 2018 levels. The company also plans to spend around $1 billion over five years on emissions reduction projects, research and development and activities to enhance the climate resilience of our business.

Rio Tinto has outlined a series of measurable and impactful Scope 3 emissions reduction goals to guide its approach, which features partnerships across China, Japan and South Korea – countries which account for 88% of the company’s value chain emissions (Scope 3).

The company has also committed that its growth over the next decade will be carbon neutral.

Rio Tinto investigates Heliogen’s AI-backed solar technology to decarbonise Boron ops

Rio Tinto and renewable energy technology company, Heliogen, have announced an agreement to explore the deployment of Heliogen’s solar technology at Rio Tinto’s borates mine in Boron, California.

Under a memorandum of understanding, Heliogen will deploy its proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology at the Boron operation, where it will use heat from the sun to generate and store carbon-free energy to power the mine’s industrial processes.

The two companies will begin detailed planning and securing government permits for the project, with the aim of starting operations from 2022. They will also use the Boron installation to begin exploring the potential for deployments of Heliogen’s technology at Rio Tinto’s other operations around the world to supply process heat, which accounted for 14% of Scope 1 & 2 emissions from the group’s managed operations in 2020.

Heliogen’s high-temperature solar technology is designed to cost-effectively replace fossil fuels with sunlight for a range of industrial processes, including those used in mining. At Rio Tinto’s Boron mine, the company’s proprietary technology will use AI to control a network of mirrors that concentrate sunlight to capture energy used to make steam, the companies said. Heliogen’s system will also store the captured energy in the form of heat, allowing it to power night-time operations and provide the same uninterrupted energy stream offered by legacy fuels.

The Boron operation mines and refines borates into products ranging from fertilisers to construction materials and is producing lithium carbonate from a demonstration plant. The site currently generates steam using a natural gas co-generation plant and natural gas fired boilers. Heliogen’s installation will supplement these energy sources by generating up to 35,000 pounds per hour (15.9 t/h) of steam to power operations, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions at the Boron site by around 7% – equivalent to taking more than 5,000 cars off the road. Rio Tinto will also be assessing the potential for larger scale use of the Heliogen technology at Boron to reduce the site’s carbon footprint by up to 24%.

Heliogen’s mission of slashing global carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuels with sunlight, as well as its focus on industrial sectors, made it an ideal partner for Rio Tinto, which is committed to decarbonising its global operations, it said.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said: “This partnership with Heliogen has the potential to significantly reduce our emissions at Boron by using this ground-breaking solar technology, and we look forward to exploring opportunities across our global portfolio.

“Addressing climate change effectively will require businesses, governments and society to work together through partnerships like this one, to explore innovative new solutions throughout the entire value chain. Our work with Heliogen is part of Rio Tinto’s commitment to spend approximately $1 billion on emissions reduction initiatives through to 2025 and our commitment to work with world-leading technology providers to achieve this goal.”

Heliogen CEO and Founder, Bill Gross, said: “Since its founding, Heliogen has been laser-focused on decarbonising industrial sectors, including mining. As a result, this agreement with Rio Tinto is incredibly gratifying.

“We’re pleased to find a partner committed to cutting its contributions to climate change. We’re also pleased that Rio Tinto is exploring our technology to play an important role in helping reach its sustainability goals while dramatically reducing its energy costs. More broadly, we’re excited to take this important step as we pursue Heliogen’s goal of avoiding more than 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions – 5% of the world’s annual total – from the global economy by turning sunlight into an industrial energy source.”

OZ Minerals on the road to electrifying Carrapateena mine

OZ Minerals’ electrification transformation at its Carrapateena copper-gold operation in South Australia has kicked into another gear with a Zero Automotive ZED70 battery-electric light vehicle arriving on site.

The company has made its electrification and sustainability aspirations clear to stakeholders, confirming it is working towards emitting zero Scope 1 emissions and striving to systemically reduce Scope 2 & 3 emissions across its value chain. It also wants to consume and produce in a way that generates zero net waste and creates value for its stakeholders.

In June, a prefeasibility study on an expansion of Carrapateena included a trial of electric light vehicles and establishment of a renewable energy hub.

The precursor to the ZED70 Ti electric light vehicle developed in partnership with Zero Automotive, the ZED70 (pictured) is based on a Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series and uses either NCM (Nickel Cobalt Manganese) or LTO (Lithium Titanate Oxide) battery chemistry.

The vehicle comes with continuous power of 75 kW and peak power of 134 kW, plus 358 Nm of continuous torque. Depending on the selected battery chemistry, the battery capacity comes in at 88 kWh (NCM) or 60 kWh (LTO).

The ZED70 Ti electric light vehicle to be delivered to Carrapateena following the trial of the ZED70 will use LTO chemistry and come equipped with a specially selected battery housing, control systems and charging capability to endure the “hyper saline underground environment” at Carrapateena.

“Working in partnership with Zero Automotive, we recently welcomed the first electric light vehicles onto site, and have the ZED70 Ti model in use underground,” Oliver Glockner, the OZ Minerals lead in developing the ZED70 Ti with Zero Automotive, said. “This is has been well received on site as a significant step in our electrification roadmap towards no diesel particulates underground and no scope 1 emissions on site.”

Dan Taylor, Business Development Manager at Zero Automotive, told IM that OZ Minerals has worked closely with the company in finalising the vehicle requirements and the change management process for implementing a battery-electric vehicle at the mine site.

“Some of the things I am talking about here include:

  • “Regular communications with their team on the progress with the project;
  • “Establishing charging points at the mine;
  • “Organising trial test drive bookings with those employees interested, and collecting performance data and feedback from them;
  • “Testing charging of the vehicle from one of their generators;
  • “Reviews by the emergency services and maintenance teams; and
  • “Planning the site acceptance testing when the OZ Minerals vehicle is delivered.”

Taylor said the LTO batteries the ZED70 Ti is fitted with can travel around 3 million km or endure 20,000 recharges before the battery re-charge ability reduces by 20%. This compares favourably with the 475,000 km, or 1,200 charges, it would take for the NCM battery’s re-charging ability to drop by the same amount.

At the same time as this, the LTO battery system will charge to a 95% charge in three hours on 415 V three-phase power, compared with four-and-a-half hours for the NCM equivalent.

“With DC-DC fast charging you will need 30 mins on the LTO (two hrs for NCM),” Taylor added.

Such benefits outweigh the lower energy density and upfront expense that come with using these LTO batteries, according to Taylor.

In October, OZ Minerals became the first miner in Australia to take delivery of a battery-powered Normet Charmec MC 605 VE SmartDrive (SD) at Carrapateena.

Glencore’s ‘net-zero emissions’ 2050 pathway includes use of BEVs

Glencore has become the latest mining major to plot a path to reach “net-zero emissions”, with a plan that includes the use of battery-electric vehicles at one of its underground operations in Canada and renewable power at its South Africa ferroalloy sites.

The company has committed to reducing its total emissions footprint – Scope 1, 2 and 3 – by 40% by 2035 compared with 2019 levels, with an ambition of achieving “net zero” on its total emissions footprint by 2050.

It says it will achieve this by managing its operational (Scope 1 and 2) footprint; reducing Scope 3 emissions through investing in its metals portfolio, reducing its coal production and supporting deployment of low-emission technologies; allocating capital to prioritise “transition metals”; collaborating to enable greater use of low-carbon metals and support progress towards technological solutions; supporting uptake and integration of “abatement”; using technology to improve resource use efficiency; and taking a transparent approach to its sustainability reporting.

Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore Chief Executive Officer, said: “A significant portion of Glencore’s earnings is derived from the metals and minerals that enable the transition to a low-carbon economy. As the world prioritises renewable technologies, battery storage and electric mobility, our business is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for the commodities that underpin these future-focused industries. Our ambition to be a net zero total emissions company by 2050 reflects our commitment to contribute to the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Getting down to specifics, Glencore, in a supporting presentation, singled out its ferroalloys business. These operations, in South Africa, represent the highest Scope 1 and 2 emitting industrial business within Glencore.

The company said it had set a specific target of a 10% reduction of its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025 based on a 2016 baseline as part of the “broader Glencore commitment”.

It said the business was currently investigating the feasibility of working with a third-party independent power purchaser for the installation and supply of around 400 MW of renewable power, with the potential to reduce Scope 2 emission by some 1.17 Mt/y.

Glencore said its Rhovan open-pit mine and smelter complex, which mainly produces ferrovanadium and vanadium pentoxide, was, furthermore, working on a potential community involvement project to install a solar farm on-site that will deliver 11 MW for nearly nine hours a day at 80% efficiency.

“The ferroalloys business is also investigating a number of projects to convert waste gas into power at its smelters,” it added. This most likely includes the work it is carrying out with Swedish Stirling and its container-based PWR BLOK 400-F energy recycling solutions.

Looking to the uptake of new technologies to speed up its decarbonisation transition, Glencore referenced its Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, in Canada, and, specifically, its Onaping Depth project.

This deep nickel-copper mine includes the construction of a winze from the 1,200 m level laterally off the workings of Craig mine to access some 14 Mt of ore 2,500 m from surface. Currently under development, it has been designed to utilise state of the art battery-electric mobile mining equipment, maximised real-time remote operation, and monitoring and management utilising advanced Wi-Fi systems, Glencore said.

The benefits of using such technology include the elimination of diesel emissions and the reduction of noise pollution.

“The design includes the use of innovative ventilation technology, with cooling systems designed to be energy efficient, while coping with ambient rock temperatures that can reach 400°C at depth,” Glencore said.

On battery-electric vehicle technology, specifically, the company said it expects these zero-emission vehicles to play an increasingly important role in underground operations. It added: “going forward, new mines will look to utilise this technology”.

Glencore previously tested a proof-of-concept battery-electric vehicle trial based on the Cat R1300G LHD at one of its Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations’ underground mines, which could have helped form the basis for the application of this technology at Onaping Depth.

After this trial, the company said: “Through using electric vehicles, Onaping Depth is expected to reduce its energy usage by 44% for ventilation systems and by 30% for cooling equipment, compared to an equivalent diesel-fuelled operation.

“Using EVs, Sudbury INO’s new mine will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 44% and deliver considerable cost savings through reduced fuel and energy usage.”

BHP and China Baowu take on steel industry GHG emission reduction challenge

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading steel producer, China Baowu, with the intention, it says, to invest up to $35 million and share technical knowledge to help address the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions facing the global steel industry.

The five-year partnership will focus on the development of low carbon technologies and pathways capable of emission intensity reduction in integrated steelmaking, according to BHP. Under the MoU, the deployment of carbon capture, utilisation and storage in the steel sector will also be investigated at one of China Baowu’s production bases.

BHP’s investment will be funded under the $400 million Climate Investment Program, set up last year to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, R&D and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry (pictured left), said the companies would collaborate on technical solutions to use low carbon fuel sources such as hydrogen injection in the blast furnace, and explore other low emission options in support of China Baowu and the steel industry’s low carbon transformation and green development goals.

“This MoU further strengthens our longstanding relationship with China Baowu and reflects our joint determination and commitment to help reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals,” Henry said.

“BHP will invest in supporting the development of low emissions technologies, promote product stewardship and partner with others to enhance the global policy and market response to climate change. Our investments are focused on actions that can create real change in emissions.”

In September, BHP awarded a tender for world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier to carry iron ore between Western Australia and China, which will reduce emissions by more than 30% per voyage.

In October 2019, China Baowu, meanwhile, announced the establishment of a Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation Centre and plans to establish a Global Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation Alliance.

China Baowu Chairman, Chen Derong, said the MoU with BHP will further enhance and broaden the existing strategic partnership between the companies, and establish a model of joint industrial efforts to promote technological innovation and a sustainable transition to a lower carbon world.

“At the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech that outlined China’s low carbon transformation and development,” Chen Derong said. “Low carbon transition and green development represent a major disruption to the traditional steelmaking value chain.

“As a leading company in the sector, China Baowu will take an active role in implementing low carbon technologies, working together with upstream and downstream partners.

“The global steel industry needs an open platform to jointly explore low carbon technology and roadmaps, as well as showcase to the world the efforts to reshape the steelmaking value chain.”

Consistent with the ambitions of China Baowu and BHP to drive efficiency and address emissions across the global steel industry, both companies will work together to establish a China Baowu-BHP Low Carbon Metallurgy Knowledge Sharing Center, to link complementary research and share low carbon and green development knowledge with domestic and international steel industry stakeholders, the two companies said.

BHP weighs trolley assist and IPCC as part of decarbonisation efforts

BHP has provided an update on its progress on climate action, new climate commitments and how it integrates climate change into corporate strategy and portfolio decisions in a new report.

The company’s climate change approach focuses on reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions, investing in low emissions technologies, promoting product stewardship, managing climate-related risk and opportunity, and partnering with others to enhance the global policy and market response, it says.

“BHP supports the aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C,” the company clarified.

It explained: “BHP has been active in addressing climate risks for more than two decades, and has already established its long-term goal of achieving net zero operational (Scope 1 and 2) emissions by 2050 and its short-term target of maintaining operational emissions at or below financial year (FY) 2017 levels by FY2022, using carbon offsets as required.”

In the past year, BHP has made progress on this aim, announcing that the Escondida and Spence copper mines in Chile will move to 100% renewable energy by the mid-2020s, and, last week, awarding new renewable energy contracts for its Queensland coal assets, and the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender.

BHP’s climate change briefing and 2020 climate change report outline how the company will accelerate its own actions and help others to do the same, it said. Today’s update sets out:

  • A medium-term target to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% from adjusted FY2020 levels by FY2030;
  • Scope 3 actions to contribute to decarbonisation in its value chain. This includes supporting the steelmaking industry to develop technologies and pathways capable of 30% emissions intensity reduction with widespread adoption expected post-2030 and, in terms of transportation, supporting emissions intensity reduction of 40% in BHP-chartered shipping of products;
  • Strengthened linking of executive remuneration to delivery of BHP’s climate plan; and
  • Insight into the performance of BHP’s portfolio in a transition to a 1.5°C scenario.

The report also outlined some examples of emission reduction projects the miner is considering, which will be weighed as part of the maintenance capital category of its capital allocation framework. This includes solar power installations; alternative material movement technologies such as overland conveyors and in-pit crush and convey solutions; and trolley assist to displace diesel for haul trucks.

The company expanded on this in its report: “The path to electrification of mining equipment will likely include solutions such as trolley assist, in-pit crush and convey, overland conveyors and battery solutions.

“Diesel displacement represents a higher risk, higher capital step towards decarbonisation, so a phased approach to execution is proposed with particular emphasis on Minerals Americas-operated assets that are further advanced on the decarbonisation journey. Taking a transitional approach to electrification provides flexibility to allow for the potential for rapid development of emerging technologies and to resolve the complexities of integrating these technologies into existing operations.

“During FY2021, we will seek to collaborate further with International Council on Mining and Metals members, industry and original equipment manufacturers to progress research and development to reduce costs and assess any potential impacts from electrified mining equipment solutions to replace current diesel options.”

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said of the report: “I’m pleased today to show how we are accelerating our own actions and helping others to do the same in addressing climate change. We see ourselves as accountable to take action. We recognise that our investors, our people and the communities and nations who host our operations or buy our products have increasing expectations of us – and are responsive to these.

“Our approach to climate change is defined by a number of key requirements. Our actions must be of substance. They must be real, tangible actions to drive emissions down. We must focus on what we can control inside our business, and work with others to help them reduce emissions from the things that they control. To create long-term value and returns over generations, we must continue to generate value and returns within the strong portfolio we have today, while shaping our portfolio over time to benefit from the megatrends playing out in the world including decarbonisation and electrification.

“Our portfolio is well positioned to support the transition to a lower carbon world aligned with the Paris Agreement. Our commodities are essential for global economic growth and the world’s ability to transition to and thrive in a low carbon future. Climate change action makes good economic sense for BHP and enables us to create further value.”

BHP to cut Queensland coal operation emissions with CleanCo deal

BHP has signed an agreement that could help it reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland, Australia, coal operations by 50% by 2025.

The renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind, is with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, which has a target to support 1,000 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025. The pact will run for five years from January 1, 2021.

“This will effectively displace an estimated 1.7 Mt of CO2e between 2021 and 2025 – equivalent to the annual emissions of around 400,000 combustion engine cars,” the company said.

BHP owns 50% of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (Mitsubishi holding the other 50%), which operates several coal mines across Queensland.

The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100% renewables in its Chile operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland – the Western Downs Green Power Hub, due for completion in late 2022, and Karara Wind Farm, due for completion in early 2023.

BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “This is an important step forward in BHP’s transition to more sustainable energy use across our portfolio, and a first for our Australian operations. It will diversify our energy supply, help to reduce our energy costs, and reduce BHP’s Australian Scope 2 emissions by 20% from FY2020 levels.”

He added: “This is a prime example of prudent business decisions going hand-in-hand with social value, strengthening our business and benefitting the community.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Asset President, James Palmer, said: “This contract will help our operations across Queensland to further increase their sustainability through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we generate from electricity use by half. It will also support two greenfield renewable projects that, in turn, are expected to generate regional jobs in Queensland.”

Over the five-year agreement, power will be provided via the grid, and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation, according to BHP.

For the first two years, power will be contracted from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio which includes hydro and gas generation assets. From late 2022, the newly operational solar and wind farms are expected to progressively contribute up to half the electricity requirements, with the remainder supported by CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio. Combined with large-scale generation certificates, this will enable BHP to reduce Scope 2 emissions from its Queensland operations by 50% by 2025, based on the company’s 2020 financial year levels.

The contract will contribute to BHP’s medium-term, science-based target for the reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions – due to be announced shortly.

Vale to tackle Scope 1 and 2 emissions with plus-$2 billion investment

Vale has topped its fellow Tier 1 miners with a plan to invest at least $2 billion in an effort to combat climate change.

The amount, the largest ever committed by the mining industry to combat climate change, according to the company, is geared towards reducing its direct and indirect absolute emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 33% by 2030.

Rio Tinto, in February, announced a plan to invest “more than $1 billion” over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets, while BHP, in July 2019, 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.

The goal complies with the Paris Agreement, which established a maximum limit to ensure the global average temperature rose by no more than 2°C by 2100, Vale said.

“With this initiative, Vale aims to transform itself into a company with zero net emissions in Scope 1 and 2 by 2050, leading the industry towards carbon-neutral mining,” the company said.

The plan was unveiled yesterday (May 12) by Vale’s CEO, Eduardo Bartolomeo, during the annual meeting with analysts from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, carried out virtually.

It is an advance on the corporate climate agenda, which Vale set out in December last year.

Back then, Vale announced its goal to reduce its emissions and established an internal carbon pricing of $50/t of CO2, equivalent for capital projects and competitors.

Bartolomeo said: “This agenda is a result of a listening process, aligned with a real climate change-related demand from society for a robust reduction in emissions in the Scope 1 and 2. We are stepping forward to develop a New Pact with Society with more transparency and responsibility.”

Vale has established the Low Carbon Forum – a group led by the CEO and comprised of six executive directors and employees from different areas of the company – whose purpose is to guide the implementation of these Scope 1 and 2 commitments.

According to Luiz Eduardo Osorio, Vale’s Executive Director for Institutional Relations, Communication and Sustainability, 35 initiatives are under analysis using the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve – a tool that allows the ordering of projects by costs and potential for reducing emissions.

He said: “There are projects for the use of biodiesel in the area of Base Metals, energy efficiency, electrification of mines and railroads, biofuels in pelletising instead of coal, and renewable energy because one of Vale’s goals is to achieve 100% of self-production of electric power from clean sources, such as wind and solar, in its plants around the world.”

By the end of the second half of this year, some pilot projects will be in operation, it said.

The Vitória-Minas railroad will have the first 100% electric locomotive, electric vehicles will be tested in underground operation at the Creighton (photo above is of a trial of the Rokion battery-powered R200 personnel carrier at Creighton) and Coleman mines in Canada, and Vale’s pelletising plant in São Luís (Maranhão) will replace coal with biofuel, it said.

The base year used to calculate the carbon goal was 2017, when Vale’s emissions reached 14.1 Mt CO2 equivalent. The goal is to reduce it to 9.5 Mt of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

Vale will also recover and protect another 500,000 ha of native forest by 2030, on top of the more than 1 Mha it currently protects worldwide, it said.

“In addition to its ambition to neutralise its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2050, Vale aims to establish a goal for Scope 3 emissions to encourage clients and suppliers in the same direction,” it said.

Through active engagement with clients from the steel and metallurgy industries, Vale says it will work to reduce emissions in its value chain.

“The company will guide its operations based on win-win relationships, less intensive products and new technologies,” it said.