Minerals Council Of Australia Releases Zero Emissions Goal
The plan outlines how the organisation aims to achieve net-zero emissions, not only in Australia, but around the world. The plan highlights the commitment the Australian minerals industry is taking to decarbonise the economy, address climate change and meet net-zero targets globally.
The plan also outlines how both the councils and the members involved are planning on taking action on climate change, with the importance of the implementation and impact of technology in reducing emissions highlighted.
In a press statement, MCA CEO Tania Constable said: “With this plan, the sector acknowledges the critical importance of technology in reducing emissions. The minerals industry works with manufacturing and innovation partners to invent, develop and deploy new techniques and technologies.
“It is clear that the scale of the technology-led transformation required will not occur without the minerals and raw materials provided by the Australian mining sector.
“The industry sees great opportunities for minerals such as lithium, cobalt and copper in all forms of transport infrastructure, communications and energy systems.”
Two elements are set out under the plan, with one to endure a ten-point framework to support three core objectives, whilst the other is a comprehensive three-year rolling work plan, comprising 30 activities.
The climate plan has come under fire from environmental and shareholder groups, with the body failing to set hard targets on reduced emissions and the use of thermal coal. The plan has failed to set a target date for net-zero emissions to be reached, or for coal mining and coal-fired power generation to be phased out.
“This is embarrassing and woefully inadequate: the MCA can’t even commit to net-zero emissions by any date. What type of plan is this without any dates or targets?” said Dan Gocher, Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s director of climate and environment.
The UN’s climate change panel has advised that global emissions must meet net-zero by 2050 to have any chance of keeping global warming to 1.5C.
Another campaign group, Australia 350, described the plan as meaningless, lacking “clear commitments to advocate for emissions reduction targets that will ensure we keep global warming below 1.5C or even dates by which we should hit net-zero emissions.”
Ericsson joins EU’s NEXGEN SIMS sustainable mining project
Ericsson has joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.
Comprising mining companies, equipment manufacturers, tech companies and universities, NEXGEN SIMS was launched on May 1. The project will pursue collaborative partnerships across new technologies, methods and processes to increase the efficiency and sustainability of mining operations globally.
Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions will feature prominently in the consortium. The solutions provide optimal on-site connectivity and supporting positioning for electric mining equipment, autonomous material handling, cross-machine fleet control and more.
NEXGEN SIMS builds on the successful SIMS project, which ran between 2017 and 2020 and played an important role in improving sustainable mining operations. The latest iteration of the project will cover advances in smart mining and mineworker-of-the-future use cases, develop autonomous mine inspection technology to enhance personnel safety and boost productivity, cost-efficiency and sustainability.
Thomas Norén, Head of Dedicated Networks, Ericsson, commented: “Our Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions bring reliable connectivity and safety to the mines. This in turn enables the implementation of new use-cases that rely on it and that are not possible to realize with legacy mine networks today.”
He added: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for global greenhouse gas emissions to be halved by 2030, reaching net-zero before 2050. This goes across all sectors. Ericsson welcomes the opportunity to support dedicated projects to develop carbon free mining processes to directly reduce operational emissions in the mining sector, while creating a safer and more autonomous mining process.”
The full list of project partners is: Ericsson, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska, K+S and OZ Minerals, Mobilaris MCE, AFRY and KGHM Cuprum; LTU Business, Luleå University of Technology and RWTH Aachen University.