Energy and Mines


10 Ways Rio Tinto is Paving the Way to Sustainable Mining

10 Ways Rio Tinto is Paving the Way to Sustainable Mining
February 07
10:12 2017


Major players in global mining are beginning to acknowledge that environmental sustainability is key to business sustainability, and lead the industry toward a low-carbon future. London-based Rio Tinto, for example, outlines 
10 ways it’s pushing forward on this front.

These include:

  1. Signing the Paris Pledge for Action supporting the outcome of international climate negotiations at COP21.
  2. Setting, exceeding, and revising a GHG emissions intensity target. The target is part of a strategy designed to help the Group prepare for a carbon-constrained economy and reduce its energy costs.
  3. Providing more information on how the company plans to address climate risk to investors. Rio Tinto has partnered with the “Aiming for A” coalition to discuss and expand annual reporting on this issue.
  4. Getting most of its electricity from hydro and nuclear power. Nearly 80% of the power it uses for aluminum production comes from low-carbon sources. As a result, the Group’s carbon footprint from its aluminum smelters is roughly half the industry average.
  5. Investing over $100 million in carbon capture and storage over 15 years to address emissions generated by burning coal.
  6. Adding solar power to its Weipa bauxite operation in Australia to reduce diesel usage. This demonstration project may pave the way for similar projects at other Rio Tinto sites.
  7. Deploying the world’s largest wind-diesel hybrid power plant at the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories to slash the need for road deliveries by 100 trips each year.
  8. Developing a more efficient way to produce aluminum.
  9. Processing products that contribute to a low-carbon economy, such as aluminum, copper, insulation components, and uranium.
  10. Actively seeking new ways to reduce diesel usage by its truck fleet across its Australian coal operations. One project engineered software changes in haul trucks to reduce the business’s diesel use by approximately two per cent, or six million litres of fuel, between 2014 and 2016.

To learn more about these energy and climate smart initiatives, visit Rio Tinto’s website.

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Kate Dougherty

Kate Dougherty