Mines should see zero emissions as a good investment

MINING companies have no choice but to transform to zero emissions because if they fail to do so investors and communities will abandon them, the Future of Mining Australia conference heard.

 Newcrest's Cadia mine in NSW.

Newcrest's Cadia mine in NSW.

Newcrest Cadia Valley operations general manager Aaron Brannigan told the conference that striving for net zero would continue deliver tangible and non-tangible benefits to ensure the viability of the mine in the medium to long term.   

"If we don't get it right we won't have a business," he told the conference.

"The benefit far outweighs the upfront cost.

"We plan to be an operation for many decades to come."

Brannigan said the mine had to move in step with the prevailing standards of the region it operated in if it was to ensure ongoing return to stakeholders.

"Being a member of the community, we have to do it right," he said.

"We have to accept our responsibility."

Brannigan said Cadia was exploring renewable energy sources such as solar energy to ensure the long-term supply of power to the mine which lay in the central west of New South Wales.

He also sees greater innovation in underground mining technology as a means of achieving greater efficiency in operations.

"The unsung hero is process and control," Brannigan said.

Honeywell sales director John Macgregor said the bar had been raised higher on achieving emissions standards for new operations and the mining industry was responding to the challenge.

"There is a lot of pressure on greenfield sites," he said.

Mining companies are finding new uses for technology and being creative in their use of digitization and the potential use of carbon capture and storage.

"Some mining companies will seek to change from gas feed to hydrogen," Brannigan said.

South Pole head of climate change Tom Schroder said mining companies should plan their sustainability strategies for the long-term to deliver ongoing benefits to their stakeholders.

"This is a marathon, not a sprint," he said.    


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