A net zero world needs mining
From the cars we drive to the renewables that power our lives, the energy transition starts with mining.
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Silicon is the most common semiconductor material used in solar cells, and it is also the second most abundant material on Earth (after oxygen).
What's in your electric car?
Compared to a conventional car, building an electric car uses approximately six times the amount of minerals.
Copper is used in electric motors, batteries, inverters, wiring and in charging stations. Electric vehicles use more than double the copper of a conventional automobile.
Solar and wind power require thousands of kilograms of mined materials. Beyond electric cars, we will need six times the amount of mined minerals to reach net zero by 2050.
Which minerals go into renewable energy?
Chromium is used in steel production, and about 85% of wind turbines around the world are manufactured primarily from steel.
what about solar and wind?
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
What if the mining industry created zero emissions?
We can’t reach a net zero society if the process of extracting minerals and metals is polluting the Earth. Some of the largest contributors to carbon emissions in mining are diesel vehicles, ore processing, and ventilation. These are the critical opportunities to reduce emissions as the industry takes active steps to become net zero.
By transitioning from diesel to battery electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, we can reduce carbon emissions. This includes dump trucks, passenger vehicles, and semi-trucks that haul the mined materials.
Much of the rock extracted from the Earth during mining is not the sought-after ore. Sorting the ore from the rock at or near the mine site reduces the need to transport tonnes of material offsite.
Some mine sites use diesel generators, which power operations like ventilation, conveyor belts, and other infrastructure. To decarbonize, mine sites are developing their own clean energy systems like wind, solar, hydrogen, and hydropower.
By using ventilation on demand and natural cooling techniques, we can reduce the amount of ventilation needed in underground mines. Battery electric vehicles also decrease how much ventilation is needed because there are fewer fumes from diesel exhaust.
A sustainable mining industry is the first step to a net zero future.
Our experts guide mining clients on their paths to net zero emissions.
Net zero mining