How to achieve green mining and reduce the carbon footprint

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2022
How to achieve green mining and reduce the carbon footprint

Rising demand for minerals reinforces the importance of sustainable mining that embraces technologies, predictive models, green mining processes, and automation to reduce time and the carbon footprint, the mining 4.0 webinar was told.

Miners' strategies should incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, said Sergio Campana, Latin America manager of Rockwell Automation

Automation and artificial intelligence help reduce the number of consumables while maximizing the amount of extracted or produced minerals. Monitoring becomes key. "If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed," said Campana, highlighting the importance of technologies.

Sigdo Koppers' project and engineering director, Ricardo Thumala, said holistic thinking is essential to achieve efficiency. He emphasized the advantages of the EPC concept for improving operational efficiency in the shortest time, which allows to deploy less direct labor to mining sites, leading to less transport and a lower carbon footprint. 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is another concept miners should incorporate. This process integrates multiple-source data to generate a digital representation of an asset throughout its life cycle, from planning and design to construction and operations. BIM provides all definitions for the project, starting from the basic engineering design to the plant dismantling stage, according to Thumala.

Robotics will also boost efficiency, said Thumala, highlighting Boston Dynamics' robot Spot, which Sigdo Koppers uses to collect data and identify interferences in areas that are risky for humans. And collecting data through a scanner allows monitoring the project's progress, he added. 

Thumala provided two examples of the advantages of technologies and EPC. First was the replacement of a ball mill at BHP's Chilean Escondida mine, moving the mill from a brownfield site by visualizing each stage in 3D and using an early engineering design to identify risks and establish all transport maneuvers. This planning reduced execution time and the carbon footprint, Thumala said.

The second project was the replacement of the ship loader for Collahuasi mining company. The challenge was to finish the project in a record time of 35 days, when similar processes take around five months. As a result, fewer workers were transported, camps were smaller, and food expenses lower. 

Such factors were not measured previously but are now helping to achieve efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. "The basic principle of green mining is how we execute the project, where we must reduce deadlines to reduce the impact on the environment," said Thumala.

In Collahuasi's case, a predictive analysis was carried out using a 3D model, allowing to monitor and control the replacement process, including aspects such as equipment purchase and expenses control through a logistics software. 

The great digital revolution involves integrating all data sources, said Campana.

Subscribe to the most trusted business intelligence platform in Latin America. Let us show you our solutions for Suppliers, Contractors, Operators, Government, Legal, Financial and Insurance.

Subscribe to Latin America’s most trusted business intelligence platform.

Other projects in: Mining & Metals (Chile)

Get critical information about thousands of Mining & Metals projects in Latin America: what stages they're in, capex, related companies, contacts and more.

  • Project: PV COPPER
  • Current stage: Blurred
  • Updated: 1 year ago

Other companies in: Mining & Metals (Chile)

Get critical information about thousands of Mining & Metals companies in Latin America: their projects, contacts, shareholders, related news and more.

  • Company: Exploraciones Mineras Andinas S.A.  (EMSA)
  • Exploraciones Mineras Andinas S.A. (EMSA) provides mining exploration services to the state-owned Chilean miner Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco). Incorporated in 2004, t...
  • Company: Nexxo S.A.
  • Established in 1980, Nexxo S.A. is a industrial solutions company which offers services including chemical cleaning and flushing, maintenance of equipment and decoking. In 2013,...
  • Company: Minera Salar Blanco S.A.  (MSB)
  • Minera Salar Blanco S.A. (MSB) is a Chilean JV established in 2016 to explore and develop the Maricunga lithium project, in Chile's northern Atacama region. The company is owned...
  • Company: Cuprum Resources Chile SpA  (Cuprum Resources)
  • Cuprum Resources is a Chilean mining company that is developing the Puquios open pit copper project, in central-northern Coquimbo region (IV). It belonged to Brazilian firm B&A ...
  • Company: FLSmidth S.A.  (FLSmidth Chile)
  • FLSmidth S.A (FLSmitdth Chile) is the Chilean subsidiary of FLSmidth & Co. A/S, the Danish supplier of equipment and services to the global cement and minerals industries. Headq...