Mining and metals company Rio Tinto has collaborated with France’s Schneider Electric to drive decarbonisation through a circular and sustainable market ecosystem.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed, touted as a ‘first of its kind collaboration’, the partners will make use of each others’ materials and services.

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Schneider will use Rio Tinto’s materials, including low-carbon aluminium and copper produced with renewable power, iron ore, and borates. In exchange, Rio Tinto will utilise Schneider’s low-carbon sourced energy and industrial services.

Moreover, the partners will develop digital platforms, technologies and solutions for implementation across the metals and mining supply chain, as well as address industrial decarbonisation challenges.

Rio Tinto chief commercial officer Alf Barrios said: “This unique partnership will help accelerate decarbonisation and renewable energy solutions by combining low-carbon materials with cutting-edge digital technology.

“Working together will allow Rio Tinto and Schneider Electric to pursue opportunities beyond what is possible for either company on its own.

“This collaboration also opens doors to consider strategic initiatives such as expanding the use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reduce downtime in our plants, digitisation of our supply chains, and a host of other transformative technologies.”

Schneider will also implement Rio Tinto’s START traceability and transparency initiative to unlock value for customers, suppliers and partners.

Setting the standard for responsible aluminium production, the START Responsible Aluminium aims to provide transparency, traceability and provenance through blockchain technology.

The companies will also assess emerging innovation opportunities such as efficient critical materials production for renewable technologies and advances in low-carbon, green steel manufacturing.