Mining Low Carbon Commodities and Climate Change Mitigation

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Mining Low Carbon Commodities and Climate Change Mitigation

No mining, no renewables. No Climate Change Mitigation.

Low carbon society involves high polymetallic society, and it implies high share of renewables and energy storage in the mining and oil facilities. Industries where energy intensity due to decreasing ore grade concerns the industry worldwide.

Renewables reduce power cost and they emerge as one of the critical allies to miners, not only in term of power costs but GHG emissions mitigation and Social License fulfillment. If we make a trip to five continents analyzing models of renewables in mining and case studies, we will discover how Renewables and energy storage are characterizing the new mining of the XXI century. Diamond mines in Canada, copper in Chile, zinc in Peru, Aluminum smelting in Iceland, coal in India, platinum in South Africa or gold and quartz sands in Australia.

However, the real challenge doesn’t locate intrinsically in the mining facilities or the business value proposition of energy suppliers, but in the people. Miners aren’t prepared to become the medical doctors of the Planet low carbon society requires. Technology is here, it works, but the real challenge to move ahead is workers skilling capacitation, from mining CEO to a truck driver. There is a knowledge gap in universities and business schools, in mining training departments and in mining trade unions around the globe on what really mining needs to become a key trigger sector to accomplish GHG reductions, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. And we need cross this chasm to save the world, chasm? Yes, the ignorance of how beautiful, useful and profitable are renewables and energy storage for mining. What a great motivation for a miner to count to their kids … hey! your father is working for your future better world if you wish I can go to your school to explain to your classroom how miners are the “new doctors on the block”.

NO mining means no renewables. NO renewables means NO Climate Change Mitigation

Two examples to get the vision of how things are changing, Two experiences of the current year:

  • European Bank at Kazajstan April 2018; renewables in mining is currently one of the subjects in due diligence for the Bank to resolve the investment or not in eastern Europe and Central Asia mining sector. Are financiers prepared to accomplish this kind of due diligence?
  • Matawa First Nations (Ontario, Canada): The development of microgrids and 100% renewables & energy storage for local communities as a part of the Social Licence in the Ring Of Fire mining exploration province (one of the most promising world first-class polymetallic mining reserves regions). Are mining companies prepared to offer this kind of Social License?

Time to build low carbon mines and commodities is arriving as well as the moment to trigger to engineers to transform in the Planet’s doctors. A low carbon mine is not a specification, is a new paradigm involving the mine lifecycle: exploration, design, operation, and closure.

Are miners prepared to understand how critical are renewables and energy storage for their professional and personal future?

With enough low carbon mining, we will deploy enough renewables to mitigate Climate Change.

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