Tag Archives: sustainability

Metso Outotec takes next sustainability steps with Planet Positive

Metso Outotec has introduced a new approach to sustainability that, it says, covers the environmental, social and financial aspects of the topic area.

Its ‘Planet Positive’ efforts enforce the company’s purpose to enable sustainable modern life, the company says, building on Metso Outotec’s commitments to limit global warming to 1.5°C, with targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.

To serve customers’ sustainability needs and to increase the size of its ecological handprint, Metso Outotec focuses on further growing its sustainable offering. The Planet Positive portfolio focuses on the most environmentally efficient technologies – of which there are more than 100 – in the company’s current portfolio, responding to the sustainability requirements of its customers in the aggregates, mining and metals refining industries. The customer requirements relate to energy or water efficiency, reduction of emissions, circularity and safety, it says.

Correspondingly, Metso Outotec focuses on minimising the environmental impact of its own operations and supply chain to diminish its ecological footprint. Already today, Metso Outotec’s handprint is significantly bigger than its footprint, it says.

Piia Karhu, SVP, Business Development at Metso Outotec, said: “We have a wide Planet Positive offering available for our customers and, with strong R&D focus, we continue to strengthen our sustainable offering for aggregates, mining and metals refining industries. We also have high targets for sustainability in our own operations and supply chain. There is a growing demand in our industry for environmentally efficient solutions.”

AFRY strengthens its digital offering with ProTAK acquisition

Engineering, consulting and design company AFRY is to expand its digital offering for process industries with the acquisition of Sweden-based ProTAK.

ProTAK’s web-based software for production optimisation will support AFRY’s strategic ambition within digitalisation and sustainability, as well as further strengthen the AFRY Smart Site digital product portfolio further, AFRY said.

“ProTAK’s web-based software is designed for production process continuous improvement and aims to increase production efficiency,” it explained. “The software measures the effectiveness of industrial plant’s machines to enable analysis and optimisation of the production processes. Together with AFRY’s production support software, AFRY Pulse, this will improve process industry customer production even further.”

The acquisition follows the purchase of ITE Østerhus AS earlier in the month, a Norway-based company that specialises in electrical engineering, automation and digitalisation for industrial customers. ITE Østerhus’ largest market areas are smelting plants and process and food industries.

David Andersson, Manager of Business Unit Digitalisation, AFRY Process Industries, in Sweden, said of ProTAK acquisition: “There is a strong demand for digital solutions within the process industry sector to reach sustainability goals by improved production efficiency. With this co-operation, we can jointly develop our offering further to support our customers even better in this constantly changing environment.

“We see great potential and synergies by combining the expertise and digital offering from both companies.”

Per Gannå, CEO at ProTAK, said becoming part of AFRY would allow the company to further develop its products and expand its offering to global clients.

“We have developed the digital offering and are now ready to take the step to the next level,” Gannå said. “We look forward to the opportunities we can create together.”

Metso Outotec strives for cost synergies, emission cuts with warehouse optimisation

Metso Outotec says it is proceeding with its program to consolidate its warehouse locations and transportation processes for spare parts, wear parts and related services globally, targeting increased availability, improved customer service and reduced CO2 emissions.

The optimisation of logistics is included in the company’s €120 million ($146 million) cost synergy target, accounting for more than €20 million of this amount.

The combined Metso Outotec network has covered more than 40 distribution centers. Once the network is optimised, the company will have 18 warehouses or distribution centres located in all main customer markets, it says.

The new operating model is using strong partners who have recognised global capabilities in providing competitive warehouse services, Metso Outotec added.

Consolidation work in Asia, Africa, China and Europe will be concluded in the near future, the company says. Metso Outotec already announced that warehouse operations in Finland will be consolidated and outsourced, and a new warehouse will be established in Helsinki. Simultaneously, the current spare and wear parts warehouse in Tampere will be closed.

The new model will be fully implemented by the end of the first half of 2021, it says.

Jarkko Aro, Senior Vice President of Customer Logistics at Metso Outotec, said: “Our target is to enable world-class logistics with easily scalable operations. Flexible, state-of-the-art warehouse operations will allow orders to be collected and dispatched to customers directly from central warehouses. The new model enables considerable savings in the end-to-end freight costs, streamlines transportation, and significantly reduces CO2 emissions.”

Aro added: “By the end of the third (September) quarter of 2020, we already achieved a 7% reduction of CO2 emissions in our logistics compared to 2019. We are extremely happy to be at the forefront with our CO2 reduction targets.”

Metso Outotec has announced it is targeting a net positive impact on the planet with a commitment to the 1.5 °C journey. This will be implemented through a sustainable offering, innovations and actions, and be measured by Science Based Targets aiming at a 50% reduction of emissions in its own operations by 2030, compared with 2019, and a 20% reduction of logistics emissions by 2025.

Sandvik starts construction of new purpose-built workshop in Western Australia

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology says it has signalled its ongoing commitment to the Australia mining and construction equipment market, signing a long-term lease for a new purpose-built workshop in Perth, Western Australia.

Construction is underway with the workshop scheduled for completion in 2021.

Located at Roe Highway Logistics Park (Kenwick, Perth), the 16,000 sq.m site will include a state-of-the-art workshop, modern office, meeting facilities, as well as testing and training equipment, Sandvik said.

According to Nathan Cunningham, Sandvik Business Line Manager – Service in APAC, Roe Highway represents a strategically important location to be able to better support Sandvik’s Australia customers.

“The strategic location of our new workshop, with its central position, freight rail and RAV7 truck access will enable us to further support our Western Australian customers and the purpose-build design will improve equipment repairs, inspections and our rebuild capability for our equipment offering,” he said. “The improved layout, increased size, additional bays and design will enable our fully-trained service technicians, aftermarket support and technology specialists the ability to work more efficiently.”

He added: “To continue to support our customers, we need to continue to invest in facilities that will not only support our existing markets, but will also have the capacity and capability to support the growing demand for future products, such as our electric load and haul offering.”

The new workshop will be fully accredited and work to OEM standards, according to the company, allowing Sandvik to provide full warranties on the machines it strips down and rebuilds.

Kate Bills, Sustainability, Marketing & Communications Manager at Sandvik in APAC, says the purpose-built facility has been designed to align with Sandvik’s 2030 Sustainable Business goals, which address a circular society, climate change, safety and fair play.

“At Sandvik, we want to ensure that sustainability is integrated into everything we do,” she said. “This includes reducing our CO2 footprint, minimising waste in our production process and providing the highest safety standards for our employees.

“As part of Sandvik’s sustainability goals, we’re aiming to halve our C02 footprint by 2030, so the new workshop incorporates state-of-the-art design elements to help us achieve this such as solar panels, green concrete and the use of low carbon building materials.”

The site will also include best-practice water management, energy efficient lighting, natural ventilation and rainwater harvesting, according to the company.

Newmont aims for net zero carbon emissions by 2030

Newmont has announced what, it says, are “industry-leading climate targets” to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30%, with an ultimate goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The new 2030 target builds upon Newmont’s existing GHG emissions reductions target of 16.5% over five years, concluding in 2020.

“At Newmont, we hold ourselves to high standards – from the way in which we govern our business, to how we manage relationships with our stakeholders, to our environmental stewardship and safety practices,” Tom Palmer, President and CEO of Newmont, said. “We fundamentally understand the human contribution to climate change and understand we reap what we sow. It is our responsibility to take care of the resources provided to us.

“We take these climate change commitments seriously, and make them because our relationship with the planet is absolute. We want a world that is not just sustainable, but thriving for generations to come.”

Using science-based criteria, Newmont has set climate targets for 2021-2030 for its operating sites, including a renewable energy target. The science-based criteria align with Science-Based Targets Initiative criteria and assists Newmont in developing specific emissions reduction pathways and meeting the Paris Agreement objective of being well below 2°C global temperature change, the miner says.

To achieve these aims, the company will implement a new energy and climate investment standard, to be combined with its existing investment standards including shadow carbon pricing, in order to further inform its capital investment process, it said.

“This new investment standard will ensure that the 2030 reduction targets are embedded into investment decisions for projects such as fleet vehicles, production equipment, on-site renewable power generation and energy efficiency,” the company said. “Additionally, the company will engage its partners and joint ventures in an effort to align joint venture operations targets and supply chain related emissions with Newmont’s targets.”

Mining is an energy intensive business, with 88% of Newmont’s energy used for mining and milling generated from carbon-based fuels, it said. As the company looks to reduce emissions and move to a low carbon economy, it will use a strategic approach to portfolio development, energy sourcing, fleet and equipment investment, as well as land use planning to achieve its targets.

A key part of Newmont’s accountability in reaching these targets will be reporting via The Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidelines. In 2021, the company will issue its first annual TCFD report. The TCFD report will detail Newmont’s governance, strategy and portfolio resilience to a range of climate scenarios. The TCFD report will also track Newmont’s annual progress toward implementing its 2030 strategy, meeting its 2030 targets and executing emissions reduction projects across its global portfolio.

Boliden and Luleå University of Technology enter into a collaboration agreement

Boliden and Luleå University of Technology have entered into a long-term strategic collaboration agreement that could help deepen the work the two have been pursuing in the fields of mine automation and optimal resource utilisation within the smelting process.

The new agreement means collaboration will be enhanced “in terms of competence provision and competence development, as well as research and innovation towards leading positions within automation and resource utilisation”, Boliden said.

The miner has long collaborated with Luleå University of Technology, with a focus on developing technology and strengthening competence in both mining and smelting operations. The university has also been an important recruitment base for Boliden.

Mikael Staffas, President and CEO of Boliden (left, pictured with Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Luleå University of Technology’s Vice Chancellor), said: “Attracting and further developing skills and technologies is an important part of Boliden’s strategy and requires long-term work. We are already a leader in areas such as climate performance and I look forward to future efforts to further develop the business.”

Some examples of projects the two are working on include process automation and digital twins, human-machine interaction in automation, and sustainability management and social acceptance.

Pär Weihed, Professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Luleå University of Technology, said: “In connection with the climate transition, we are seeing there is substantial demand for metals and minerals. At the same time, Luleå University of Technology and Boliden have a long and successful history, and together we can create better conditions for a more sustainable supply of raw materials.”

Metso Outotec ticks the TCO box with latest HRC HPGR design

The design and operating principle of Metso Outotec’s HRC high pressure grinding roll has been well proven since going commercial in 2014.

The elimination of the edge effect with a flange design brings with it high throughput, while the anti-skew assembly means customers find faster machine restarts and no downtime from skewing events.

These benefits have been proven at Freeport McMoRan’s Morenci mine, in Arizona, USA, with the company’s largest unit – a HRC 3000 – having now processed more than 120 Mt of ore at that operation. This HRC 3000 is still going strong.

Yet, there was room for improvement, hence the reason Metso Outotec has just released the HRC™e HPGR.

Christoph Hoetzel, Head of Grinding business line at Metso Outotec, explained the rationale for such an update.

“To enable this flange technology, it was very important to have a simple, mechanical solution that works under any circumstances,” he told IM. “Our solution with the HRC was the arch frame, which was a mechanical fix to keep the rolls parallel at all times.

“This, however, came with a compromise. You had to have access to both sides of the machine and, in general, the units were relatively heavy and tall.”

These attributes meant that, if the customer investigated the total installed cost of the HRC – especially if they were weighing the purchase of more than one unit – the cost sometimes outweighed the benefits.

“This was a case of where the economics did not match the sustainability and efficiency of the unit,” Hoetzel said.

Metso Outotec has listened to customer feedback with the HRCe.

“The enabling factor for the flange technology is a mechanical solution for eliminating skewing on the machine,” Hoetzel said. “We have now achieved this with a much simpler, compact design. This is really where the step change has come from.”

Now, when you look at the specifications of the HRCe, which comes with a large feed size acceptance of 60-120 mm and typical capacities of 1,810-6,930 t/h, the footprint is almost the same as other HPGRs on the market, according to Hoetzel.

“Yet, the unit benefits from the proven and reliable flange design of the original HRC,” he said. “You could, potentially, even use a smaller unit for the same application.”

By reducing the size and associated installation cost that comes with the HRC technology, Metso Outotec is suddenly levelling the HPGR playing field. The advantages the company spelt out back in 2014 when the HRC technology was originally publicised now come with no cost drawbacks.

With more miners looking for not only energy-efficient grinding solutions in their flowsheets, but processing options that reduce their water intake, HPGRs are increasingly being used in tertiary or quaternary crush applications, or in lieu of traditional SAG mills.

In this regard, an updated HPGR is coming to the market at just the right time.

Metso Outotec, cognisant of this trend, has also sought to offer the benefits of its HPGR technology to the wider market.

The mechanical skew control HPGR (High Pressure Grinding Roll) retrofit kit takes the key components responsible for minimising skew from the HRC and makes the technology more accessible without the major investment or need to acquire a new machine, according to the company. The technology can also be incorporated into non-Metso Outotec machines.

These latest product updates are in keeping with Metso Outotec’s defined purpose of “enabling sustainable modern life”, fitting the mineral processing reality that miners face today.

Hoetzel reinforced this message: “Customers should not have to choose between sustainability and lowest total cost of ownership with their machines. At Metso Outotec, we truly want to be the partner for positive change, which means we really need to combine both.

“With the HRCe, we think we have achieved that.”

Metso Outotec to sell recycling business as it focuses on ‘core’ synergies

Metso Outotec has spelt out a three-pillar focus in a new strategy and financial targets update, saying it is looking to divest its Recycling business and concentrate its attention on the aggregates, minerals processing and metals refining industries.

The new strategy, focused on growth and improving profitability, was published on the same day as the company’s January-September 2020 interim review was released.

This showed orders received were 28% lower in the September quarter of 2020 than the same period a year ago, at €2.9 billion ($3.4 billion), while the company’s adjusted EBITA and operating profit were down 29% and 63% year-on-year at €109 million and €47 million, respectively. President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo, said the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have an impact on the company’s end markets during the quarter, with the most significant impacts resulting from limited access to customer sites and slow decision making related to new project and modernisation orders and non-critical services.

With the merger of Metso and Outotec having completed on June 30, Metso Outotec has now had the chance to evaluate the opportunities within the enlarged group, which it spelt out in this update.

The company said it aims to become a “top-tier supplier of products, technologies and services in the aggregates and minerals industries and a top financial performer”, adding that its defined purpose is: “enabling sustainable modern life”.

Against this remit, the company said its foundation for implementing its new strategy and achieving its goals are based on the following factors:

  • Comprehensive product and service offering as well as process expertise throughout the customers’ value chain;
  • Extensive installed base and a strong brand;
  • Strong aftermarket presence and know-how close to customers; and
  • Industry-leading, sustainability-focused technology, research and product development expertise.

When it comes to growth, the company said its key customer segments are aggregates, minerals processing, and certain areas of metals refining.

“The company’s target markets offer attractive growth prospects and have significant potential for further growth and development of the aftermarket business,” it said. “Several recognised global megatrends, like urbanisation, infrastructure projects, electrification of societies, and climate change mitigation, will support market growth.”

Metso Outotec’s primary target in the selected segments is to develop its product and service business by leveraging its process expertise. “In order to reduce business risks and to improve profitability, extensive project deliveries will be limited when they include other than the company’s own technology and expertise,” it said.

The company laid out four priority areas of strategy implementation including: integration and financial performance; customer centricity; sustainability; and performance culture.

These priority areas are visible in each business area’s action plans and their realisation is measured and managed with several performance indicators, it added.

Vauramo, who has also agreed to lead the company until the end of 2023, said: “Metso Outotec’s new strategy is coherent and clear, and it will help us to become an industry-leading company in customer satisfaction, sustainability and financial performance. Based on a careful assessment of our businesses and the opportunities they offer, we have selected the areas we will focus on.

“The aggregates and minerals industries have clear roles at the core of our strategy. Global megatrends are driving their development, and we are well positioned to offer products, solutions and services that satisfy customer demands.

“In the Metals business, we will initiate a restructuring and turnaround program to improve financial performance and ensure more granular management of the various businesses and resources. This work will lead us to scope our offering and resources in a more efficient way.”

As a result of this strategy work, Metso Outotec has decided to divest its recycling business. While the circular economy and other market drivers offer attractive opportunities for developing this business, Vauramo said it has limited synergies with the core of the new Metso Outotec.

“This being the case, we have started preparations to divest the business,” he said. “I am confident that we will reach a solution that is good for Metso Outotec as well as for the Recycling business and its personnel.”

The Recycling business sells products and services for metal and waste recycling. Its sales in 2019 were €156 million, and it reported an adjusted EBITA margin of around 6%.

Speaking of synergies, Vauramo updated investors on its plan to generate total cost synergies of €120 million by the end of 2021 through the merger process.

At the end of the September quarter, it had reached an annual run rate of €31 million in cost synergies, it said. This compares with the year-end estimate of €50 million.

“In addition, we were able to realise the first revenue synergies during the quarter by capitalising on cross-selling opportunities in the services business,” Vauramo said.

As part of the strategy work, Metso Outotec’s Board of Directors has approved the following financial targets:

  • Adjusted EBITA margin of >15% over the cycle;
  • Maintaining an ‘investment-grade’ credit rating;
  • Dividend payout of at least 50% of earnings per share; and
  • Progress in sustainability in alignment with the 1.5°C commitment.

“The financial targets underline our intention to improve the company’s profitability and drive sustainable solutions in our industry,” Vauramo said. “The most significant factors in this development are the benefits related to integration and synergies, the businesses’ own profitability improvement actions, increasing market shares, and developing our business portfolio. At the same time, we will strengthen the company’s balance sheet by using cash from operations to reduce indebtedness.

“For shareholders, Metso Outotec’s ambition is to be a good payer of dividends.”

With Metso Outotec already outlining its “1.5°C journey”, with targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative, the company is well on its way to making progress on this front.

In the strategy update, the company said this will be implemented through a focus on sustainable offerings and innovations, and by being a responsible and trusted partner.

Metso Outotec has set targets to reduce the emissions of its own operations by 50% by 2030, compared with the 2019 baseline, and to reduce the emissions of logistics by 20% by 2025. It is also targeting that 30% of the supplier spend by the end of 2025 is with partners who have set a CO2 target.

“Metso Outotec will continuously develop sustainable solutions for its customers, with a focus on energy and emission efficiency, water efficiency, circular solutions and safety,” it said. “Over 90% of the company’s R&D projects are targeted to have energy, emissions or water targets.”

COVID-19: the catalyst for driving sustainability in the metals and mining sector

COVID-19 has been a game-changer for many industries, with an inconceivable amount of companies closing or temporarily stopping their work, report Pat Lowery and Dr Nick Mayhew*.

The metals and mining industry has been no exception. By April this year, almost 250 mine sites in 33 countries had been disrupted by the virus with government-mandated shutdowns and hundreds of thousands of workers sent home either because they had contracted the virus or for their safety.

While the global pandemic has proved to be a severe crisis for the mining industry, severe crises force change, and the mining industry has been forced to commit to change and to new goals to survive.

At first, it seemed that companies might give up complying with sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) goals. However, the outcome was in fact the opposite. The pandemic has demonstrated that sustainability is now a permanent, key driver across the world, which will not be forgotten by governments nor the private sector.

Pat Lowery is Former Technical Director at De Beers and Group Head at Anglo American

The European Council made this clear by highlighting that it will not abandon its ‘Green Deal’ as part of its fiscal response to COVID-19. While in the US, New York State passed legislation which accelerated the construction of clean energy facilities as a way to spur economic recovery and fight climate change. As for investors, according to the COVID-19 Investor Pulse Check report, published by the Boston Consulting Group in May 2020, 51% of investors say they want CEOs to continue to fully pursue their ESG agenda and priorities.

COVID-19 not only set the records straight on a commitment to sustainability, but it provided a much-needed stimulus to spur the innovation required to achieve this desired goal. The metals and mining sector traditionally had a reputation for being slow to embrace new technologies – it ranked 30th out of 53 sectors in terms of R&D investment in the 2018 Global Innovation Study 1000 – however, it had no option but to react quickly to the crisis.

For instance, BHP created a COVID-19 tracking app and its Atacama mine in Chile developed a tool to remotely check stock levels for critical site materials – ensuring employee safety as well as a quick response.

Now, according to the Axora Insights COVID-19 survey, despite a significant drop in revenue after the pandemic caught the industry off-guard, experts expect the metals and mining sector’s investment in digital innovation to grow about 10% year-on-year. By using innovative technology, the industry will overcome the challenge of converting traditional mines into smart, sustainable ones with social commitment, responsibility and care towards their workers and their rights.

Dr Nick Mayhew is Chief Commercial Officer of Axora

Rio Tinto’s vast iron ore operation in Australia’s Pilbara region, for example, is the world’s largest owner and operator of autonomous trucks, having announced last year that 50% of its entire haulage fleet was automation-ready, providing safer and more cost-efficient sites. In Chile, Teck Resources is using remote smart sensor technology to gather data on the local water and identify hourly fluctuations in water quality, enabling the company to share 24/7 real-time water quality data with the local community. Nornickel in Russia is installing data transmission devices on load-haul-dump vehicles and self-propelled drilling rigs to enable remote-controlled operations, as well as developing drones to take video deep inside the mines and robots for high-quality 3D mine surveying.

Meanwhile, the Borden gold mine in Ontario, Canada, and the Agnew mine, in Western Australia, have faced their environmental challenges head-on by introducing electrification and renewable energy to their sites. The Borden mine’s electric and battery-powered fleet has eliminated diesel emissions completely and is expected to halve the total emissions on site by around 5,000 t of CO² a year. Whilst the Agnew mine met up to 60% of the site’s energy needs by running remote, off-grid operations with solar, gas, wind, and battery power, proving that such operations need not compromise reliability or productivity.

COVID-19 has escalated the need for a more sustainable and resilient metals and mining sector. There is a need to protect in the longer term, for example, against future pandemics, to ensure worker’s safety, to implement rapid recovery systems and to de-risk operations. Shifting global priorities are putting a greater emphasis on health, social and community issues; responsible partnering with the government; and pressure on companies to demonstrate fast and responsive action to current issues.

The global pandemic has provided metals and mining companies with the downtime to improve their innovative solutions and enable ‘smart’ and sustainable mines. From being a vague term, sustainability has become a real goal as COVID-19 has pushed companies to put the priorities and goals in the right order and to drive forward their businesses.

*Pat Lowery is Former Technical Director at De Beers and Group Head at Anglo American, and Dr Nick Mayhew is Chief Commercial Officer of Axora

Atalaya Mining looks to solar power for Proyecto Riotinto GHG emission, cost reductions

Atalaya Mining is looking to take advantage of a natural abundance of sunlight at its Proyecto Riotinto copper operation in Spain with the development of a 50 MW solar plant.

The company announced today that it has started the permitting process for the plant build, with the 50 MW generated set to be used for “self-consumption” at the operation.

Technical studies carried out by a third party during the past months have indicated that, in addition to making a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions, the solar project is economically viable and could potentially contribute to reducing Proyecto Riotinto’s operating costs, Atalaya said.

“The decision to pursue the solar project is in line with Atalaya’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and to continue to have a positive impact on the people, environment and society surrounding the mine,” it added.

During the permitting period, the company will evaluate the various financing options being proposed by industry players in Spain.

Subject to completing the permitting process and securing financing, construction is targeted to commence by mid-2021.

Alberto Lavandeira, CEO of Atalaya Mining, said: “We are pleased to be committing to this solar initiative which will be one of the largest projects of renewable self-consumption in the industry. This is only a first step in achieving our long-term sustainability goals, but one that will have a positive and near term impact on Proyecto Riotinto.”

Earlier this year, Atalaya Mining completed an expansion of the operation to hit 15 Mt/y, up from the previous rate of 9.5 Mt/y.