Anglo American updates on progress towards sustainable mining

Anglo American has presented its regular sustainability performance update, including…

Anglo American has presented its regular sustainability performance update, including how its integrated approach to sustainability in project development is securing its ability to deliver responsible long-term growth in future-enabling metals and minerals.

Duncan Wanblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “Our unwavering focus is on driving consistent, competitive performance to deliver our next phase of value creation – at the heart of which is our integrated approach to sustainability. One of our greatest challenges as an industry, though, is to bridge the clear gap between increasing recognition of the need for ever greater volumes of mined materials and society’s acceptance of the activity required to produce them. Our learned experience in delivering improved sustainability outcomes from successful projects such as Quellaveco is part of the solution and is integral to how we make our strategic and investment choices – across our current operations and projects in design and development – and to unlocking enduring value for all our stakeholders.”

Helena Nonka, Strategy & Sustainability Director, added: “We have long seen a holistic approach to sustainability as a key driver of commercial and stakeholder value. Sustainability is a core competency that we deploy throughout our business, from strategic portfolio choices to project design and delivery to day-to-day operational decisions, always with value creation in mind. Societal expectations of our industry will continue to increase as will the need for the essential metals and minerals and we must build greater trust if we are to provide materials that are required to decarbonise our planet and that are also the building blocks of modern life – from housing to food – for ever more people.”

Tom McCulley, CEO of Anglo American’s Crop Nutrients business, concluded: “For multi-generational assets, such as Woodsmith and Quellaveco before it, it is critical that we embed the latest thinking and technologies into safe and sustainable modern mine designs. Building on the blueprint for success established at Quellaveco, we will continue to deploy the integration of technology and sustainability at Woodsmith to set a new benchmark for modern mining – out of sight, safe, reliable, and catering to our customers and society’s needs. Aligning that design at Woodsmith with the highly attractive environmental credentials of our low carbon, organic-certified and high efficacy fertilizer product is a further aspect of the value proposition of our product for customers. We are building the next generation of FutureSmart MiningTM at Anglo American.”

Alison Atkinson, Projects and Development Director, commented: “Our ability to deliver responsible and value-accretive production growth relies on us embedding the full breadth of sustainability considerations into the design, development, and operation of our assets. Taking our new Quellaveco operation in Peru as a prime example – fully digital, automated and with innovative water supply designs factored in from the outset, we are applying that same innovation-led approach to our next phase of projects. From our Woodsmith fertilizer project under way in the UK, to our potential Sakatti polymetallic project in Finland and other expansion options across our copper portfolio, we are minimising our physical footprint through technology and designing operations that better meet the expectations of our shareholders, stakeholders and society.”

Towards carbon neutral operations

Anglo American is moving towards its goal of carbon neutral operations by 2040, evolving its pathways as it progresses and learns, and as technologies develop. At the end of 2022, its Scope 1 and 2 emissions were 21% below the peak levels of 2019 – a significant reduction that reflects its transition to 100% renewable electricity supply across its South America operations, with Australia to follow in 2025. In Southern Africa it is working in partnership with EDF Renewables to build a 3-5 GW renewable energy ecosystem of wind and solar generation capacity, designed to tackle its largest remaining source of Scope 2 emissions and support energy reliability and grid resilience, while catalysing broad socio-economic opportunities.

While Scope 3 emissions reduction is largely dependent on the decarbonisation of its value chains and the steel industry in particular, it is progressing towards its ambition to halve these emissions by 2040. It is working with several prominent steelmaking customers to help develop cleaner steelmaking technologies, collaborating to explore ways for premium quality, responsibly produced iron ore from its Kumba mines in South Africa and Minas-Rio mine in Brazil to be used as highly valued feedstock for less carbon intensive production processes. To its existing decarbonisation partnerships with steel producers across Asia and Europe, it has recently added an agreement with China’s Baosteel, one of the world’s largest steel producers and long-standing Anglo American customer.

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