Since ancient times, human beings have already used mining to produce utensils, materials, and tools that would be capable of transforming their lives. Since then, the mining sector has been industrialized, and in recent years it has been digitized thanks to the rise of digital transformation.
Although this industry has evolved in recent decades, there is still a lot to be done to solve today’s challenges.
Journey to a net-zero strategy
According to a report published by PWC, the mining industry was one of the few organizations where the results of the pandemic period remained stable.
The sector’s growth can be related to efforts directed to ESG strategies (Environmental, Social, Governmental).
ESG is a combination of efforts between governments, societies, and the environment to complete the journey of industrial decarbonization by 2050.
The need for safer and more sustainable operations gained momentum during the covid-19 pandemic, where environmental issues were treated as urgent.
The urgency for environmental change has generated major changes in the way industries operate, in particular the mining industry, which has all the tools at its side to achieve its goals.
The changing culture of the industrial sector
The results obtained in the last 2 years are pleasing, but the question about the future of mining now, more than ever, becomes pertinent.
The need is to transform current operations into low-carbon and sustainable ones. But how can this need be transformed into actions that generate changes in mining processes?
It seems that industries are working on strategies that are viable in the long term. Among them we can mention:
- Use of sustainable energy
- Carbon-free products and services
- Investments for developing Net-zero strategies
Use of sustainable energy
Electric energy is the most used in industrial processes and operations. Despite being the most popular, the use of this type of energy is responsible for numerous environmental impacts, causing interference in hydric estuaries and flooding of adjacent biomes.
On the other hand, energy sources that involve burning, such as thermoelectric and nuclear, manage to be even worse in the environmental aspect. Responsible for tons of toxic waste, this type of energy is directly responsible for the climate change we are experiencing today.
The use of renewable and sustainable energies is the way for decarbonization strategies to be effectively executed. The change is part of a transition movement and a break from energy dependence.
This need is already known by the industry that is now looking for alternatives such as the production of solar or wind energy.
Being aware of the need for clean operations and ESG strategies is not enough, but demonstrating through action the extreme importance of these objectives.
This may be one of the key points for the future, where stakeholders seek investment opportunities in industries that effectively have plans to contain carbon emissions.
Being ready for this challenge means not only moving towards a green future, but also having better conditions for financial contributions and also facilitating government fees and taxes.
Zero-Carbon Products and Services
The mining sector is one of the champions in environmental impacts. Not only because of the carbon emission but also because of the exploratory model that is aggressive to the biomes in which the plants operate. The problem ranges from the extraction of ore to the use of additives for material purification, and disposal.
In order to reduce these impacts, industries are looking for new operating models and materials technology that can fill this gap.
In terms of ore, recently it has developed a technology capable of canceling CO2 emissions from burning aluminum.
Developments like this exemplify the ability of industries to develop technologies in favor of decarbonization.
There is still a long way to go until 2050, however, in a survey by PWC, 8 of every 10 industries have already established goals and roadmaps for Net-zero. The same survey shows that by 2040 there will be a growth of 600% in relation to the use of renewable energy in the mining industries.
The journey in favor of decarbonization in the sector shows good signs, mining companies are aware of their disruptive role in favor of society and technology.
Read: Digital Transformation at Mining: Vidya + Vale