Canadian mining company Equinox Gold will target a 25% reduction in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, president and CEO Greg Smith said on Tuesday.
Unveiling the company’s inaugural climate action report, he said that Equinox had made substantial progress in understanding its carbon footprint and identifying opportunities for improvement.
“We are implementing initiatives at our producing mines that will reduce GHG emissions and operating costs while also considering GHG emissions mitigation opportunities at our development projects so we can achieve both production growth and our climate-related objectives."
Equinox has committed to a target of reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to "business-as-usual" forecast GHG emissions in 2030 if no intervention measures were taken.
Based on an assessment of existing operations and planned expansions, Equinox determined that diesel combustion in mobile equipment and electricity generation for fixed equipment account for substantially all the company's GHG emissions. As such, the group’s near-term GHG emissions reduction initiatives are focused on improving the efficiency of its haul trucks, transitioning to lower emissions diesel where supply is available, reducing electricity consumption and, where possible, sourcing electricity from green power sources.
Equinox said that focusing on diesel combustion emissions could result in a 15% reduction in consolidated GHG emissions.
At Los Filos, the company would replace its shovel and truck fleet with larger, more fuel-efficient models to reduce the carbon intensity of the load/haul operation. At Greenstone, eight CAT793F trucks have been delivered to site and the remaining 23 will be more fuel-efficient.
At Castle Mountain Phase 2, Equinox is considering using electric drills and shovels. These are grid connected, rather than diesel powered, and will reduce GHG emissions as the grid is supplied by a mix of low-carbon sources, including solar.
When Castle Mountain Phase 1 operations started, ore was hauled by truck from the pit rim to the heap leach pad. In 2022, ore was instead crushed and conveyed from near the pit rim to the heap leach pad. Although the 2021 feasibility study for Castle Mountain Phase 2 assumed ore would be hauled by truck from the pit rim to the heap leach pad, the company is now studying crushing and conveying ore for Castle Mountain Phase 2 operations, which would reduce GHG emissions.
Further, Equinox plans to procure renewable diesel in the future at its California operations, and will look to increase the use of biodiesel or renewable diesel at its other operations when supply becomes available.
Equinox may also invest in truck retrofits to use dual-fuel diesel and liquid natural gas- (LNG-) powered trucks at Los Filos whereby diesel is displaced by LNG, which has less GHG emissions per unit of energy.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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