The recent Mining Indaba mining houses in Cape Town had an opportunity to display their ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) certificates.
Anglo-American has made it clear in recent years that it wants to lead the industry in its quest for what is known as “sustainable mining” and is marshaling some really exciting technology to help get there.
It recently unveiled the NuGen Zero Emission Haulage System, a hydrogen-powered truck with a load capacity of 290 tons. It is currently being driven at the Angola Mogalakwaina Platinum mine in Limpopo prefecture, with plans to expand it to the whole group.
Another ambitious program involves taking all 19 of its South African activities off the grid.
It was announced in March that Anglo had signed an agreement with EDF Renewables, a global renewable organization, to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE) that would make Anglo South Africa’s activities 100% off the grid by 2030. The group plans to be carbon-neutral By 2040.
Anglo-American CEO Duncan Oneblad Mining told Indaba that mining must face new realities to meet the mineral needs of the growing global economy, while rapidly converting to zero carbon.
“As the world struggles with the urgent need for rapid urbanization and the urgent need for decarbonization in tackling social inequality, the demand for mining materials continues to grow. As an industry, our challenge is clear: we need to meet our demand for metals and minerals in completely different ways; A way to adapt to the needs of society and the natural environment – while creating and sharing sustainable value in an inclusive way for all our stakeholders, “said Oneblood.
Zero losses have long been at the top of Anglo’s priorities. The 2021 annual report noted that for a group employing 106,000 people in 15 countries, there was one loss of life in the entire group (Peru) over a 12-month period.
In a recent annual report, Chair Stuart Chambers said, “One thing that is clearly making a difference is the elimination of our homicide program.” “We have increased resources behind it and I am encouraged by its progress. Through this work, we have a better understanding of how serious incidents can occur, helping us to eliminate workplace risks as well as prioritize commuting to and from work. “
Chambers also noted that the steady improvement in injury rates has stopped, highlighting the work that needs to be done to achieve the goal of zero damage.
The main program behind the goal of zero loss is known as SLAM – Stop, Look, Access, Manage, which is action hazard identification. If employees feel that their safety or that of a coworker is at risk, SLAM is a short way to remember to quit a job.
There is also ‘visible felt leadership’, which is led by managers at all levels and in ongoing coaching and communication outside of the tickbox security checklist.
Anglo has also developed a policy of learning from events, each of which is considered a valuable opportunity to learn to avoid repeated mistakes.
The group has raised $ 30 million for a group-wide global roll-out of the covid vaccine, with another $ 100 million going to the Anglo American Foundation to fund long-term health, social and environmental projects in host communities around the world.
In terms of health and safety, Covid Anglo is a watershed event, resulting in improved active surveillance of workers and more immediate care when infections are detected – all in the name of getting closer to the goal of zero damage.
Going beyond sustainable mining
The Anglo Sustainable Mining Plan outlines some of the sector’s most ambitious environmental goals.
By 2030, it aims to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% as opposed to a 2016 baseline;
- Improve energy efficiency by 30%;
- Achieve 50% net reduction in freshwater abstraction in water scarcity areas;
- Biodiversity provides net-positive effects wherever it works; And
- By 2040 all operations must be carbon neutral.
FuturesSmart Mining is critical to achieving many of these goals, and involves the use of new technologies that are revolutionizing the way we understand mining. This work expands its many physical mining processes, acts as a catalyst for self-sustaining regional economic activity and, for example, advocates for policies that support the decarbonization of raw materials and ethical sources.
One of the pillars of FuturesSmart Mining is Concentrating the Mine, a trademarked concept aimed at maximizing accuracy, minimizing the use of water, energy and capital in mining – producing less waste all the time.
‘Intelligent Mine’ is another Anglo concept that provides a wealth of quality data about mining activities that are being converted into predictive intelligence – such as alerting operators before potential machine breakdowns and greatly reducing downtime.
“We don’t just see the energy transition as a transition, but we want to make mining more human,” said Sibusiso Shabalala, Anglo’s external communications manager.
“Mining is everyone’s industry. Last year the production value of the industry was only R1.2 trillion. This is a huge contribution to the economy. Mining is deeply involved in the country’s history, and the region where the mines operate has a tendency to become the focus of economic activity. But the mines have a limited life and we want to make sure that when the minerals run out, we don’t leave a void. “
Listen to this SAfm Market Update Interview with Sibusiso Shabala:
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