Japanese investment firm Itochu has partnered with Shell International to help drive a reduced carbon footprint at its mining sites while increasing operational efficiency.

The collaboration is aimed at accelerating the digitalisation and decarbonisation of Itochu’s global mining operations.

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It is part of Itochu’s goal to promote environmental conservation activities within the mining sector.

By offering its expertise in decarbonisation and digitalisation pathways, Shell will enable the Japanese firm to find solutions that would help avoid, reduce or offset emissions from its mining portfolio.

One of the solutions to be provided by Shell to Itochu is OREN, the business-to-business (B2B) digital mining services marketplace launched by Shell and IBM.

The platform will offer digital transformation consultancy to Itochu and provide it with access to various digital and technology solutions for the mining sector.

Itochu metal and mineral resources division chief operating officer Jun Inomata said: “Itochu has recently been recognised for the sixth consecutive year with the SAM Gold Class award from the S&P Global Sustainability Awards, and we will continue to push to further improve the sustainability of our metals and mining portfolio around the world.

“We see digital as being a key opportunity to help us drive a lower carbon footprint for our mining operations and Shell’s OREN marketplace and consultancy approach will help us accelerate that digital journey.”

Moreover, Itochu and OREN will collaborate to highlight digitalisation opportunities and solutions according to a digital transformation roadmap.

The roadmap will be developed by OREN’S mining experts and based on Itochu’s insights regarding its mining activities.

By working with the marketplace’s sector subject matter experts, Itochu plans to undertake digital pilots in key sector markets, including Australia and Brazil.

OREN CEO Mark Hannan said: “Digitalisation of operational efforts is a vital enabler for the energy transition for mining companies and a critical first step to turn decarbonisation ambitions into action is to build a digital roadmap.”