Reducing CO2 emissions

Pathways for decarbonization in mining

The topics of “global warming”, “CO2 emissions and footprint” and “CO2 climate neutrality” have all made avenues into the mining industry and are now playing into key decisions. In the following paper, facts on the current situation are provided and pathways to achieving considerable savings in greenhouse gas emissions in mining, ore beneficiation and metal smelting are indicated.

1 Challenges in decarbonization

The extraction and processing of raw materials is energy-intensive and causes the emission of large quantities of greenhouse gases. For every tonne of copper produced, an average of around 2.6 t CO2 and 2.0 kg sulphur dioxide are generated as air pollutants. But without copper and other raw materials like nickel, cobalt, lithium, rare earths, etc., decarbonization of the global economy with increasing electrification and green power would not be achievable. Without raw materials, the emissions of the mining industry would be saved, but the global economy would...

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