Nornickel starts production of carbon-neutral nickel
MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and one of the largest producers of platinum and copper, has started producing carbon-neutral nickel.
Nornickel achieves carbon-neutral nickel production
Carbon neutrality of nickel was made possible thanks to the company’s steps to cut greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions at all stages of the production chain, from underground ore mining to processing and refining.
Low carbon footprint has been achieved mainly through the upgrade of the hydro power plant that feeds Nornickel’s production facilities in the Norilsk Industrial District.
Nornickel invests in energy modernization facilities, including the replacement of hydroelectric units at the Ust-Khantaiskaya hydro power plant. The share of renewable sources has thus increased in the company’s energy mix to 55% for the Norilsk Industrial District and 46% for the group.
Nornickel is mitigating its carbon footprint
Other steps to mitigate carbon footprint include the upgrade and repair of power equipment, rollout of the automated control and metering system, reduction of heat losses in buildings and pipelines, and decommissioning of obsolete power units.
In the coming weeks, Nornickel expects to receive conclusions from international accredited auditors confirming the methodology used to calculate the carbon footprint of nickel produced at Kola MMC (also known as the Kola Division) in Russia’s northwest and start shipping the new batch to consumers.
Evgeny Borzenko, Nornickel Head of Kola Division, commented: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the first batch of carbon-neutral nickel production. This metal was made possible not through the purchase of CO2 emission offsets, but through the company’s efforts to reduce emissions. This once again proves that our company is committed to the global environmental agenda. It is important for us that the effect of measures to reduce CO2 emissions is not a one-time effect, but a cumulative reduction of the harmful load on the environment.”
Meanwhile, Nornickel and the Government of the Krasnoyarsk Territory have signed an agreement on cooperation in the implementation of investment projects in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
BHP deliberates ditching fossil fuels for greener mining
The world’s biggest miner, Australian-based BHP, is supposedly considering withdrawing from a multi-billion dollar contract, which would see the company generate more than US$2bn due to mounting pressure over aligning its business with ongoing climate concerns and ESG-compliance measures.
Exiting the agreement would mean BHP escalate its distancing from oil and gas and subsequently cut down on the amount of fossil fuels used by the company when mining.
It’s estimated that the petroleum business being debated upon could actually be worth around US$15bn but is still under talks to be put up for sale.
Global Mining Giant Considers Greener Future
BHP has made itself clear that it wants to avoid becoming unable to sell its assets. As competition within the market increases following higher numbers of oil giants wrestling with investors to deal with climate pressure, so too are the number of mining rivals looking to make environmental changes for the future.
However, BHP currently has the upper hand as a stalwart mining company that established itself back in the 1960s, allowing it the time to grow and dominate over other fast-appearing mining competition.
Mike Henry, BHP Chief Executive, has an optimistic outlook for the future of oil and gas despite worries over rising demand to align his business with the Paris Climate Agreement. Henry argues that prices remain promising due to a lack of industry-wide investment.
BHP’s petroleum business won’t be easy to say goodbye to. Forecasted to generate around 6% of profits during the ongoing financial year (US$2bn), and around US$1.6bn revenue produced by BHP petroleum in the six months leading to December 2020, BHP is due to take a hit no matter what agreement they choose.
On the other hand, distancing itself from thermal coal and petroleum would arguably aid the company’s case to possible - and valuable - investors who may be required to fund BHP’s increased output to places such as Australia and Mexico in the near future.
BHP considers cutting billion-dollar contract to aid climate
An exit away from petroleum has the potential to be “a powerful corporate catalyst,” says Dominic Kane, Analyst at JP Morgan.
“We believe an exit would likely ring-fence BHP’s exceptional cash flows for non-fossil fuel organic growth, mergers and acquisitions and generous shareholder distributions since BHP could avoid a major new capital investment phase this decade in petroleum.”
BHP is also set to sanction a giant US$5.7bn Canadian potash mine in August of this year, already seeing potash as a long-term substitute for gas and oil going into the future. The company has also previously announced plans to abandon its 80% share in its joint endeavour with Mitsui, owner of two lower-quality mines in Queensland, Australia.
BHP is scheduled to report its annual results on August 17, after which it may become clearer on whether the company will choose to focus its shift to a low-carbon economy or whether it will stay with its current contract into the coming year.