Mining companies with operations in Peru should focus on obtaining international certifications to improve their ESG profile, said Luke Balleny, director of standards and partnerships at The Copper Mark certifier, during the Perumin mining event, held in the Arequipa Region.
According to the executive, in Peru, there are open certification processes for Southern Copper’s Toquepala, Cuajone and Ilo units and for Marcobre’s Mina Justa copper project, while only Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde copper, molybdenum and silver mine and Southern Peaks Mining’s Condestable copper asset already have accreditation from the company, which uses independent assessments to certify responsible production of copper, molybdenum, nickel and zinc.
In Chile, there are 12 mines already certified and another 10 projects “that will receive certification next year. We hope that Peru can follow suit and that more companies will apply,” Balleny said during a panel on sustainability.
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Experts recently said that the certification of mining companies will become increasingly important
They also said that the country should aim to have 85% of red metal producers certified by 2025. The panelists also agreed that water management is another area for improvement and technology should be incorporated to eliminate the use of fresh water.
By 2030 half of Anglo American’s Quellaveco’s water needs will be covered by non-fresh water, but Diego Ortega, vice president of corporate affairs at Anglo American Peru, says that by 2025 its Chilean asset Los Bronces will cover 45% of its water requirement with desalinated water and will progressively replace salt water with wastewater.
“We have a very high level of expertise in water management, which can definitely be used by the Executive to seek long-term solutions, not only thinking about water but also about climate change,” said Ortega during his presentation. He also invited the head of the Ministry of Environment, Albina Ruiz, to work together.
On the other hand, mining companies can achieve savings and efficiency by focusing on production processes, said Joshua Meyer, president of FLSmidth’s services business line.
“I think there’s a lot of emphasis on reducing emissions at the ore transportation stage; but if we put more focus within the plant processes, small changes in the plant, these can have very big impacts per ton, per kilogram, per pound. The plant is where the energy is consumed, and where the water is consumed in the whole process”, he pointed out.
According to Meyer, FLSmidth installed an advanced digital process control tool that reduced annual water consumption by 14%, the equivalent of 5 million cubic meters per year. “That’s a US$6 million savings for the mine. Before, it was believed that sustainability came with a cost, but now we see that it comes with savings.”
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First published in bnamericas. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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