Mining Companies Work Toward Mitigating Carbon EmissionsBy Karin Dilge | Mon, 06/20/2022 - 09:42
Major mining companies with a presence in Mexico continue to work toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nonetheless, their progress has been slowed due to the uncertainty regarding renewable energy contracts, after controversial policy reforms were implemented.
The majority of the world’s big gold and silver producers have set strict objectives to reduce carbon emissions. Many of them have made the strong commitment to reach zero net emissions by 2050, with the goal of complying with the Paris Agreements to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
Of seven big mining companies operating in Mexico, four achieved minor decreases in GHG emissions in 2021 compared to the previous year. Two reported small variations or increases. One company reported its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time in 2021, so making a comparison was not possible.
Most of the companies attempt to reduce emissions through a combination of improved efficiency, a transition to renewable energy use and less dependency on diesel as an energy source.
During recent years, companies have adapted their operation to become more sustainable in the face of climate change’s threat. “We see the changes all around us, we hear about it everywhere we go, everywhere we shop, every television program we watch, where we live and where we work. The concern for our climate is global and leads many conversations today. Additionally, this is the topic that government leaders around the world are attending summits to discuss,” says David Wolfin, CEO, Avino Silver & Gold Mines.
In addition, Wolfin mentioned that “miners will be focusing on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, moving to solar panels, looking for ways to use clean energy and decarbonizing. Some will shift to battery electric vehicles (BEV) for their mine site, moving their fleets away from diesel.”
Torex Gold is also joining the efforts by implementing a hybrid fleet of electric and diesel vehicles starting with the acquisition of 66 BEVs, having already signed the agreement to build a solar power plant at its Morelos complex.
Moreover, recently Industrias Peñoles and Fresnillo announced the results of their environmental programs, carried out across their mining, metallurgical and chemical branches. The programs have yielded positive results regarding energy and water consumption, as well as the preservation of flora and fauna.
According to the companies, their operations are carried out under a strict Sustainable Development Program. As a result, the companies have not gotten fined for failing to comply with environmental regulations in 2021. The strategy consists of flora and fauna preservation programs. Both companies furthermore focus on reducing their emissions by implementing natural gas and renewable energy self-supply sources, as well as by reducing first-time water usage.