JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The 500 t world-first haulage truck powered by green hydrogen last week underwent fully loaded trialling that included tipping into the crusher at Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwena platinum group metals (PGMs) mine in Limpopo.
“The trials all went well,” Anglo American group technical director Tony O’Neill told this week’s second 2022 sustainability performance presentation, covered by Mining Weekly.
O'Neill was responding to questions posed by Barclays Investment Bank analyst Ian Rossouw, who requested an update on the nuGen truck’s performance as well as a progress report on the ramp-up of the electrolyser to supply the hydrogen to power the zero-emission truck.
“On the hydrogen side, we’ve been to market on commercials for gas but we also need to explore commercials around going liquid, and we’re currently preparing to go that route, so at this point there’s no further expansion of the electrolyser. It’s not critical path at this point, but we need to clearly sort out the commercials for supply in the next six months,” said O’Neill.
“The liquid hydrogen investigation is more around range so we take away one of the issues that we have been wrestling with. It’s just the number of refuelling stops over a day and, if you go liquid, then clearly that solves for that. So, going well at this point,” O’Neill added.
In Southern Africa, Anglo has partnered with EDF Renewables (EDFR) to develop 3 GW to 5 GW of clean generation capacity. This is expected to meet Anglo's operational power requirements and support the resilience of local electricity supply systems.
The new jointly owned Envusa Energy is developing its first phase of more than 600 MW of wind and solar projects, a major step towards its vision of a 3 GW to 5 GW renewable energy ecosystem in the region by 2030.
The 600 MW Envusa Energy projects in Southern Africa are almost shovel-ready with construction due to begin early next year, and Credit Suisse securities research director metals and mining Danielle Chigumira asked for the projects’ financing agreements to be spelt out.
“These projects are all quite typical of infrastructure energy projects and so will be funded with that usual mix of equity and debt. Infrastructure energy projects are often around that 20% equity and 80% debt mark,” Anglo FD Stephen Pearce explained.
“We’re still just finalising the power purchase agreement system behind that, which will help determine the funding structures, so work in progress. But our equity contribution will be relatively modest as it works its way through those mathematics. For that first 600 MW, our equity contribution will be well south of $100-million over that next two-to-three year period as those projects get built out.
“The majority of them are in Envusa and one a partnership with EDFR on their renewables in Mogalakwena, so really comfortable how those projects will sit. Arrangements are being finalised and worked on as we speak. There’ll be no major surprises there and will largely be infrastructure funded with community partners and bank counterparties, with largely offtake arrangements for us as the customer,” Pearce added.
CLIMATE CHANGE THE DEFINING CHALLENGE
Anglo CE Duncan Wanblad spelt out that Anglo as an organisation views climate change as “the defining challenge of our time”.
“We are committed to playing our part in working out solutions that help manage the impacts of climate change,” said Wanblad.
The London- and Johannesburg-listed company has a target of reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 30% against a 2016 baseline by 2030, on the way to achieving full carbon neutrality across the whole of the portfolio by 2040.
Wanblad described the creation of Envusa Energy as its next step towards the development of a renewable energy ecosystem in Southern Africa, with the aim of producing clean energy at a rate of 3 GW to 5 GW, enhancing the stability and sustainability of the national grid.
Anglo marketing head Hilton Ingram, who provided a customers’ perspective on responsible mining, said the company’s Future Smart programme, including the sustainable mining plan, is providing marketing with a great foundation to build value for customers through products, partnership and provenance.
“When a customer chooses to buy from Anglo American, they’re putting their reputation in our hands and we believe that the way we safeguard our customers’ reputations sets us apart from the competition,” said Ingram.
Anglo customers were increasingly being held accountable for the integrity and environmental, social and governance credentials of their supply chains and many customers were increasingly turning to sustainability certification programmes, which needed to be credible.
In this regard, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) had published a standard for socially and environmentally responsible mining, which has multi-stakeholder support from trade unions, nongovernmental organisations and customers.
“Anglo American has long held a leadership position in IRMA, but today there are 65 mining companies engaging with it, clear evidence that there is support for a rigorous standard with high levels of stakeholder trust,” said Ingram.
Anglo is on track to meeting its goal of assuring all its operations against a recognised responsible mining standard by 2025.
The Unki PGMs site in Zimbabwe has achieved an IRMA 75 rating and the final auditing results are expected in the next few months at six other Anglo sites.
“While we don’t expect to match Unki’s very strong performance at every mine, we are hopeful of some positive outcomes,” added Ingram.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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