The company is constantly striving for greater energy efficiency and to using more renewable energy sources in order to reduce environmental emissions.
Energy efficiency at Antofagasta Minerals is a company-wide priority and is a key factor in the Cost and Competitiveness Programme, which encourages innovation and operating excellence. The Group’s Climate Change Standard focuses on the efficient use of energy at all of its operations and projects. It also has an Energy Efficiency Programme, which was rolled out in 2014.
One of the main challenges involved in the development of Chile is efficient energy use. In May 2014, the Ministry of Energy published the Government Energy Agenda, a roadmap for the challenges over the following 10-years. In July of the same year, in view of the role of major mining operations in the country’s energy consumption, the Mining Council - to which Antofagasta Minerals belongs - and the Ministry of Energy agreed to collaborate on promoting the efficient use of energy resources by member companies, conducting audits and submitting specific plans for the implementation of initiatives.
Energy efficiency is also highly relevant in terms of costs and therefore the Group’s profitability, as electricity and fuel account for some 15% of the Group’s cash costs.
Energy efficiency is a key component of the Group’s corporate competitiveness and costs, and innovation and operating excellence programmes. Antofagasta Minerals’ Energy Efficiency Plan has the following objectives:
- Conduct external energy audits, to define benchmark KPIs and identify relevant initiatives.
- Establish a portfolio of initiatives for the short, medium and long term.
- Incorporate energy efficiency in the assessment and design of mining projects.
- Establish a corporate energy efficiency management system.
From 2015 to 2016, energy audits were conducted on all of the Group’s operations, which identified energy efficiency initiatives. These were prioritised and execution plans devised for implementation in the short, medium and long term. These initiatives will enable savings in the use of electrical energy and fuel, bringing additional benefits in terms of safety, reduction of GHG emissions and production.
The innovation programme was reviewed and redefined in 2016 and an Innovation Committee was appointed to assess potential initiatives, prioritise them and approve the budget for their early development stages. This Committee has identified several initiatives that have fed into the energy efficiency project portfolio, which are currently undergoing technical and economic analysis.
In December 2016, a new energy management system, in line with ISO 50001 on energy efficiency, was approved for the whole Group. An Energy Efficiency Committee was created, comprising the Vice Presidents of Operations, Projects and Corporate Affairs, and the Group’s Energy Manager. They will supply guidelines, review and validate the plan for implementing the energy management system and approve the identified efficiency initiatives.
In 2016, the Group’s total electricity consumption was 3.2 million MWh and it consumed 253,000 m3 of fuel. Overall consumption increased due to the inclusion of Antucoya and Zaldivar into the Mining Group for the first time.
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