Mining companies across the globe are focussing on minimising carbon emissions over the next 15 years to align with the global target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 of the Paris Agreement.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the most impactful step in reducing emissions from mining operations over the next five years.
Analysis of poll results shows that a majority 30% of the respondents see battery-powered electric vehicles to be the most effective in reducing mining emissions, followed by 22% who vouched for technology and process improvements.
Further, 21% of the respondents voted for the use of on-site renewable energy, 16% chose hydrogen-powered mining vehicles, and 10% voted for automation and transportation efficiency to be the most impactful in emission reduction.
The analysis is based on 496 responses received from the readers of Mining Technology, a Verdict network site, between 22 March and 04 May 2021.
Steps taken by mining companies to minimise carbon emissions
Management of carbon emissions from mining remains crucial to addressing climate change challenges and achieving the goals set under the Paris Agreement.
Several international miners including BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Vale have set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The companies are striving to slash carbon emissions by decreasing coal output at mines, expanding investment in low-carbon metals such as cobalt, nickel and zinc, and incorporating low-emission technologies and renewable electricity sources at their operational sites.
Miners are also incorporating electric vehicles in mining operations and exploring the potential of using hydrogen fuel cells for powering vehicles, as removing diesel-powered vehicles from mining fleet can alone help reduce carbon emissions by approximately 40%. Further, mining companies such as Anglo American and Mitsui are investing in research and development on the use of hydrogen in mining operations in the next 20 years.