Vale commits $2B to lower carbon output
Brazilian miner plans to achieve zero-net-emissions by 2050 Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – May 20, 2020
Last updated 6/27/2020 at 6:11am
Brazil-based global miner Vale has committed to investing at least US$2 billion toward reducing its carbon emissions in the coming years.
The goals of this initiative are to reduce its direct and indirect absolute emissions by 33% by 2030 and to transform itself into a zero-net-emissions company by 2050, leading the industry towards carbon-neutral mining.
Direct emissions come from its operations, and indirect emissions come from external sources involved in the production process, such as electric power consumption.
With this major investment, Vale aims to align its carbon-emissions with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which established a maximum limit for increasing the global average temperature of 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
Basing its reduction goals off its 14.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions during 2017, Vale's initial goal is to get down to 9.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2030.
Luiz Eduardo Osorio, executive director of institutional relations, communication and sustainability at Vale said 35 emissions reducing initiatives are currently under analysis.
"There are projects for the use of biodiesel in the area of base metals; energy efficiency; electrification of mines and railroads; biofuels in pelletizing instead of coal; and renewable energy, because one of Vale's goals is to achieve 100% of self-production of electric power from clean sources, such as wind and solar, in its plants around the world," Osorio said.
By the end of the second half of this year, some of Vale's carbon emissions reducing pilot projects will be in operation.
These projects include the first fully electric locomotive for the Vitória-Minas railroad, a 560-mile (905 kilometers) rail that delivers 115 million tons of iron ore from Vale mines to the Tubarão Complex, a large port and related facilities in southeastern Brazil.
Vale will also test electric vehicles in underground operation at its Creighton, Coleman and Copper Cliff's mines in Canada; and the use of biofuel for pelletizing iron at Tubarão Complex.
The US$2 billion emission reduction investment, already planned in the mining capital expenditures guidance for the coming years, was unveiled by Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo during the miner's May 12 annual meeting.
"This agenda is a result of a listening process, aligned with a real climate change-related demand from society for a robust reduction (of) emissions," said Bartolomeo.
In addition to its ambitious emissions reduction goals, Vale aims to encourage clients and suppliers in the same direction. Through active engagement with clients from the steel and metallurgy industries, Vale will work to reduce emissions in its value chain.
The company will guide its operations based on win-win relationships, less carbon-intensive products, and new technologies.
"We are stepping forward to develop a new pact with society with more transparency and responsibility," Bartolomeo said.