- According to information from COCHILCO, in 2018, the mining sector consumed the equivalent of 177 GJ, which is equal to about 14% of the country’s aggregate consumption, producing 6.06 MM tCO2eq of greenhouse gases.
- According to the EP 2018, 13.5% of the country’s emissions come from the Industry and Mining sector (2010).
- The Mining Council indicates that approximately 20% of mining companies’ operating costs are composed of electricity.
- More than 90% of the country’s mining exports are copper, with Chile leading globally in copper production (27% of world production), and second in Molybdenum production (20% of world production).
- The mining industry of the future will seek to automate its processes, switch to fuels generated with fewer emissions (green hydrogen), increase energy efficiency in each of its processes, and use electrical energy from renewable sources, to reduce their carbon footprint.
- The promotion of efficient heat-generating technologies and avoiding losses, powered in turn by a low emission and non-polluting sources, is the challenge for the mining industry of the future.
- Renewable energies can also be harnessed directly at a mine site, for example, by generating heat with concentrating solar power plants.
- In Chile, a natural migration towards underground mining has begun. Due to its nature, this type of operation has other complexities to consider; for example, it demands injection and extraction of air with forced ventilation, extensive use of compressed air, use of conveyor belts, and promotion of automation and remote operation. For all these reasons, electricity consumption can be up to four times higher per ton of extracted material compared to open-pit mining.
- The promotion of electromobility in underground mines, along with the development of trucks and other vehicles powered by hydrogen, could have a significant impact on the mitigation of emissions from the sector by 2050.