A Rio Tinto-Volvo net-zero partnership
Metal Tech News – September 14, 2022
Last updated 9/20/2022 at 2:47pm
Rio Tino to supply low-carbon metals, Volvo offers low-emissions trucks
Global mining giant Rio Tinto and European automaker Volvo Group have agreed to forge a partnership that will help both companies achieve their climate ambitions.
"We look forward to partnering with Volvo to progress our contribution to a net-zero future, as we collaborate to deliver sustainable outcomes from the mine to the showroom floor," said Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm.
Under a memorandum of understanding between the mining and automotive titans, Rio Tinto will supply responsibly sourced low-carbon aluminum, copper, and other products to Volvo Group.
While aluminum's light weight makes it an ideal material for lowering the emissions of internal combustion automobiles and extending the range of electric vehicles, the production of this metal is notorious for the enormous amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted during the smelting process.
ELYSIS, a partnership between Rio Tinto and Alcoa, with support from Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, is scaling up a technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases from the aluminum smelting process and instead emits oxygen into the atmosphere.
This low-carbon aluminum smelting would be a big advantage for automakers, such as Volvo, that have goals to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
In addition to aluminum, the companies will work to strengthen the supply of other low-carbon metals, such as Copper Mark certified copper produced at Rio Tinto's Kennecott and Oyu Tolgoi mines, and potentially the supply of lithium for EV batteries.
"We are eager to partner with Rio Tinto, a true collaboration aiming to accelerate our ambitions towards a fossil-free, decarbonised future," said Volvo President and CEO Martin Lundstedt.
To help bring the decarbonized future full circle, Rio Tinto plans to pilot sustainable autonomous trucks offered by Volvo.
Volvo Autonomous Solutions, the newest business area under the Volvo Group banner, is commercializing industrial autonomous transport solutions designed to increase productivity, reduce emissions to nearly zero, and radically improve safety.
This includes the TARA TA15 autonomous electric haul truck. Electric and hybrid versions of this cab-less autonomous dump truck have already been through initial piloting in Sweden.
"By addressing the full value chain, from the use of low-carbon materials in our products, to providing our customers with sustainable autonomous hauling solutions, we can contribute to a better and more sustainable future," Lundstedt added.