Economic growth, urbanisation and population growth are fuelling demand for new urban infrastructure, technology and modern conveniences. With a concurrent move towards energy efficiency, green technology and a low carbon future, we are seeing stronger demand for electric cars, wind and solar energy and energy storage.
Demand for minerals is expected to double by 2050 and it is essential that governments and industry ensure that supply is reliable and sustainable, as the urgency to deal with climate change accelerates. Meeting these demands places mining industry at the centre of the green transition – mining must deliver the minerals needed… and do so sustainably.
The difficulty in delivering the minerals demanded by society while decreasing the environmental footprint is being compounded by declining ore grades. This has direct implications for the amounts of water and energy needed for production, increasing the environmental footprint of mining.
Zero water waste, zero emissions and zero energy waste
We want to help miners produce more with less resource use and to create a smaller footprint – or what we call sustainable productivity. With MissionZero, our ambition is to deliver this sustainable productivity by offering solutions that support zero water waste, zero emissions and zero energy waste by 2030.
But what does this look like in reality? It means offering customers the required technological and digital solutions to move towards greener mining processes. We are focused on the entire flowsheet, but with an emphasis on areas where we see a lot of potential, such as:
- Reducing water use and maximising water recovery
- Lowering tailings risk and footprint
- Energy efficiency and electrification
- Lifecycle enhancement
- Digital and data-based optimisation
The whole is often greater than the sum of the parts
What benefits could the MissionZero Mine deliver?
There will be benefits in each section of the flowsheet, but the real benefit will come from the combined impact of solutions and optimisations across the mine site.
In fact, we modelled what the impact would be if you replaced a traditional wet milling SABC circuit, standard flotation cells and cyclone sand tailings dam with the MissionZero Mine flowsheet for a 100,000 tpd plant.
These are the results:
increase of plant throughput
reduction in grinding energy per kWh/t
Highlights from MINExpo 2021
Wayne Douglas, Global Head of Mining R&D, delves into the concept of the MissionZero Mine and what it means for miners in terms of innovation, digital/data optimisation and the adoption of currently available technologies.