Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said in its maiden climate change report yesterday that its first major project in its decarbonisation pathway was the 100MW solar PV plant at Mogalakwena, in Limpopo.
“A number of funding options were evaluated for the project, and the best value opportunity was to partner with an Independent Power Producer (IPP), who will fund the capital requirements, while Anglo American Platinum will guarantee the offtake over the operational term of the solar PV plant,” the group said.
This forms part of the company’s broader plans to improve by 30% on energy efficiency by 2030, be carbon-neutral by 2040, and reduce scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2040.
The report comes at a time when mining companies are under huge pressure to respond to climate change.
Natascha Viljoen, the CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “In line with our strategic priority to be a leader in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), we expect that the role we play in helping to create a green future should create significant value for all our stakeholders. The metals we produce are critical to enabling a cleaner, greener and more sustainable tomorrow for all and will be important to the mix of energy solutions that will make global decarbonisation possible.”
Viljoen said that through the strong focus on innovation, the Anglo American Group, of which Amplats is a subsidiary, was unlocking a pathway to reduce carbon emissions.
“An outstanding example – known as nuGenTM – is the development (in conjunction with First Mode) of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered fuel-cell mining haul truck, which was launched at Mogalakwena in May 2022. The second-generation prototype is also in construction and we aim to replace or retrofit our entire fleet of 40 trucks with zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology by 2030,” she said.
Viljoen said Amplats was looking further than its own operations and was actively involved in looking at how hydrogen and the platinum group metals it produced could play a wider role.
Meanwhile, Ampats said it had embedded ESG into its capital allocation, to ensure that all aspects of its Sustainable Mining Plan were considered, including climate change, while also making certain that financial returns that meet its hurdle rates were generated when investing in projects.
And through its energy-efficiency programme, it could track its footprint across all locations.
“Every site has a bottom-up target for saving energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on an adjusted baseline methodology. The performance is monitored through active dashboards that also incentivise participation in emission-reduction activities,” it said.
But water security remained a principal risk as Amplats sites operated in stressed catchment areas.
“We rely heavily on water for mining and processing activities. Responsible management of this resource is therefore critical, given concerns around water security and quality. We also adhere to strict regulation and scrutiny from authorities,” the group said.
The Amplats Sustainable Mining Plan sets out meaningful long-term targets for efficient water use by 2030 that includes a 50% reduction (globally) in fresh-water abstraction from a 2015 baseline. It also plans to recycle and re-use at least 75% of available water, while aiming at zero level 3 or higher water discharge incidents.
The innovative technologies that would allow mining with little or no water are also part of the group’s plan.