Sustainability is an increasingly important item on the mining industry’s agenda. But with an ever-increasing demand for minerals and ambitious carbon emissions goals, miners are tasked with moving more dirt while minimizing costs and being more productive than ever.
Now is the time for miners to take action to implement methods for decarbonizing, with the mining industry contributing 2 to 3 percent of global CO2 emissions and having a large role to play in emissions reduction.
Multiple efforts will be required to address the principal sources of emissions with the current mining value chain – drilling, loading, hauling, and crushing being the most carbon intensive parts of a mining operation.
How CR can help miners with their carbon emissions
Miners need to focus on improving their mining value chain with technology that exists today as part of their approach to lowering their carbon emissions, whilst also providing technology to operate sustainably as the operational energy mix evolves in the future.
“Today 40 to 50 percent of CO2 emissions come from diesel used in mobile equipment, with another 30 to 35 percent from non-renewable electricity.” – Creating the zero-carbon mine | McKinsey
CR has engineered smart solutions that can help miners reduce energy requirements at multiple points in the value chain, while also improving productivity.
Thunderbird 1110TM Drill Optimization
Drill and blast is the first step in a well-optimized mine operation. When drill patterns are not accurate, and rock isn’t properly fragmented, the entire mining value chain is affected.
Thunderbird 1110 provides high-precision GPS guidance to operators so they can drill accurately to the pattern and depth. StrataSense, which maps the rock hardness, helps blast accurately and reduces wasted explosives.
By drilling efficiently and avoiding over-drilling, drills burn less fuel, reducing emissions. We’ve found that Thunderbird can eliminate up to 30% of drill depth errors and associated wasted drill time, saving up to 445t of CO2e per drill annually*.
Miners can save on explosive costs by understanding rock hardness. By using only the necessary explosives, miners save on carbon emissions from wasted explosives. Explosives can be reduced by 195t CO2e annually.
The effects on the downstream value chain are also significant. By drilling and blasting to plan, rock is properly fragmented. This means that excavators use less fuel to dig, trucks use less fuel to haul, and the crusher burns less fuel, all contributing to reduced emissions.
Cast Lips for Hydraulic Excavators
StingrayTM is CR’s cast lip for large hydraulic excavators. Thanks to its design, engineered to reduce lip weight, the cast lip provides improved digging performance by reducing dig energy up to 13% compared to alternative lip systems.
Our cast lips share the same design intent across our range. A slimline lip profile allows the material to flow with less resistance so that buckets can penetrate dirt faster, with less effort. By digging more efficiently, excavators burn less fuel, reducing CO2e emissions.
Diesel has a fixed energy density per liter burned. By reducing the energy used by diggers by 13%, the lip can save up to 38 kg CO2e emissions per hour, adding up to a savings of 217 tonne CO2e emissions annually*.
*Actual performance will vary based on mining conditions and commodity.
Titan 3330TM Payload Monitoring
Titan 3330 is a loader-based payload management solution, measuring real-time bucket payload and total truck progress to target payload. More accurate than truck-based systems, your operators get real-time feedback so they can make immediate adjustments to load trucks more precisely.
For an Australian iron ore miner, maximizing truck payload was a high priority. The site implemented Titan to provide accurate, real-time payload information to their operators, increasing average truck payloads without increasing overloads or machine duty.
With Titan, operators increased average truck payload by 3 tonnes resulting in 245,000 additional tonnes moved per machine per year, all while reducing machine attachment duty by 10%. The result: moving more dirt for less energy, reducing the amount of fuel consumed per tonne moved.
Today’s load haul circuits, despite technological advances, remain wasteful and highly variable. Overloaded trucks consume more fuel, reduce circuit efficiency, and require additional maintenance, while underloaded trucks need more trips through the circuit, burning more fuel to move the same amount of dirt.
Research has shown that up to 35% of total fuel and CO2e emissions cost could be saved by reducing payload standard deviation from 30% to 0%.1 By optimizing your load and haul circuit so that the majority of your trucks are loaded to target payload, your trucks will make fewer trips while making the most efficient use of fuel, reducing your CO2e emissions per tonne of dirt moved.
For one miner, Titan 3330 increased median truck fleet payload from 227 tonnes to 239 tonnes, reducing diesel liters per tonne by 1%. Over 10 million additional tonnes per year were moved by the same fleet.
That’s the equivalent of a 1.3 million liter per annum diesel saving or 3,500 tonnes CO2e emissions per year – which is the equivalent of removing 754 petrol cars from the road for a year.
By minimizing the number of load haul circuits completed per tonne of ore mined, Titan 3330 reduces CO2e emissions for the same number of tonnes mined.
In our calculations, we’ve leveraged data measured by Titan, with modeling from independent research papers and standard industry calculations. We’ve held the number of trucks per hour steady and assumed constant loader activity, machine availability, and annual tonnes moved. The key number here is CO2 emissions per tonne, not overall emissions.
Thunderbird 1110 can help miners properly fragment rock by drilling exactly to planned pattern and depth, and understanding rock hardness to optimize explosives.
Consistently fragmented rock benefits the entire mining value chain, through to the crusher, which will use the optimal amount of energy, reducing unnecessary carbon emissions.
CR is conscious of the significant global energy consumption of the mining industry and actively works to reduce the impact through product that can positively impact energy requirements wherever possible. If you want to find out how you can reduce your emissions, get in touch to start the conversation.
- A Comprehensive Investigation of Loading Variance Influence on Fuel Consumption and Gas Emissions in Mine Haulage Operation 2015, International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, Soofastaei A., Aminossadati S.M., Kizil M.S., Knights P.