Anglo American has secured 100 per cent renewable energy for its South American mines, as the company flags the industry importance of renewable energy in its path towards carbon neutrality.
Company group director of corporate relations & sustainable impact Anik Michaud said Anglo American had a responsibility as a world-leader to inspire the industry the achieve a higher standard of sustainable mining.
“It is our duty to produce the metals and minerals that society needs as responsibly as current technologies allow, while continuing to stretch ourselves and our business partners to improve our performance even further,” Michaud said.
An agreement was signed with Engie Energía Perú to provide renewable energy for the Quellaveco copper operation in Peru – Anglo American’s third and final South American country to tick off, after Brazil and Chile.
The company plans to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Anglo American chief executive officer Tom McCulley said renewables play an important part in copper mining.
“Copper has such an important role to play in enabling the global transition to a low carbon economy, so it is important for Anglo American’s new world-class copper mine in Peru – Quellaveco – to lead the way by minimising its own carbon and broader environmental footprint,” he said.
Anglo American isn’t the only global operator to strive for renewable energy. Gold Fields are implementing hybrid microgrids across Western Australia, while Newmont’s Cadia gold mine in New South Wales will be run on wind-powered energy.
BHP’s Escondida and Spence copper operations in Chile are also aiming for total renewable energy by the mid-2020s, as announced in 2019.
The microgrid at Gold Field’s Granny Smith gold mine will be installed by energy services company Aggreko, which will use 20,000 solar panels to reduce mine fuel consumption by 10 to 13 per cent.