The year of green mining

22nd January 2024

The year of green mining

By Johan Pretorius, MMM Segment Lead, Anglophone Africa at Schneider Electric

Analyst firm, Market Research Future’s (MRFR) recent report Green Mining Market By Type (surface and underground), Technology (power reduction, fuel and maintenance reduction, emission and water reduction and other), and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world) - Forecast till 2032 paints an optimistic future for green mining operations, estimating the market will grow at a rate of 10.50% from 2023 to 2032, reaching $25.8 Billion by 2032.

Importantly, mining businesses are being encouraged to embrace low-carbon pathways and work towards the green energy transition by new restrictions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a carbon price, and investor viewpoints on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG).

Understanding green mining

Today’s green mining entails the practice of collecting valuable minerals and geological materials from the earth whilst mitigating its impact on the environment such as driving down GHG emissions.

By increasing material and energy efficiency, and ensuring the availability of mineral resources, it aims to reduce adverse environmental and social impact at all phases of operations. 

One of the key drivers of green mining is to establish sustainable operations by optimising the efficiency of resources, ultimately extending the life of the mine.  Here, the use of natural resources such as water, power, gas, and compressed air, can contribute significantly towards sustainability goals.

At Schneider Electric, we encourage mines to adopt a holistic view, considering not just individual products but the entire mining ecosystem. By doing so, we assist them in achieving better efficiency and longevity in their mining operations.

The focus is to ensure mines coexist harmoniously with their surroundings, evaluating the social, economic, and environmental impact. The goal is to establish vibrant, self-sustaining economic ecosystems, post-mining.

Tangible steps

It is important that mining service provider companies offer adaptable solutions that can cater to the segment’s diverse customer base, from multinational entities to junior miners. The key is to offer customisable services for each mine, whether they are starting their mining journey or have a hundred years of experience.

Schneider Electric provides a comprehensive audit service, considering single and multiple sites. Our audit includes assessing the supply chain and exploring sustainable options. We also aim to put digitised systems in place that can optimise natural resources such as water and establish microgrid technologies that contribute toward improved energy operations. 

Our mining audits aim to establish actionable plans, thus empowering mining companies to make informed decisions based on budget and resources. This scalability accommodates client priorities and budget constraints, ensuring versatility for both large-scale operations and smaller junior miners.

Mining Indaba 2024

Schneider Electric is actively promoting a positive disruptive mindset in mining. This value proposition also aligns with this year’s African Mining Indaba’s theme, Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining.  To this end, we aim to – at the indaba- engage in open discussions with clients, emphasising the importance of embracing positive change. 

Our focus spans from sustainability to a comprehensive view of the mining ecosystem, covering topics from copper to cloud. The Schneider Electric global MMM leadership team will be present to facilitate conversations, understanding client needs, and showcasing how we can assist mines in achieve sustainability and green mining objectives.