Mining Energy Usage Report released – Comminution key target for decarbonization

CEEC wishes to highlight a new independent report commissioned by the Weir Group that examines direct energy use and emissions from mine sites. The report focuses on five major commodities – copper, gold, iron ore, nickel and lithium - and draws from over 40 published studies.

It reinforces comminution as the single biggest energy consuming step in mining, and offers guidance on opportunities to improve and decarbonize energy usage such as the redesign of grinding circuits at greenfield sites, improved drill and blast approaches, and the use of AI and machine learning to improve decision making.

It is a timely report with mining leaders accelerating environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments and actions, which is a critical business risk and responsibility. As governments, businesses and communities commit to decarbonization, this report updates understanding of mining's energy use and addresses a critical industry challenge – the energy used to produce minerals for society and transition to renewables.

Industry has a crucial role in supporting transition to net zero emissions; to make existing mines and processing plants more energy and water efficient and invest in future designs incorporating renewables and energy efficient comminution and processing. We believe this report can help revitalize cross-industry discussion on shared industry challenges – and highlight that when we share best practice, new technologies, designs, innovations and tests/pilots on sites/at scale it helps all of industry succeed faster. We welcome your suggested articles and ideas and invite you to download the full report here.