How Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) is using technology and clean energy sources to make copper mining cleaner
As the world becomes increasingly digitized and technology dependent, the demand for copper continues to grow. Copper is used in everything from smartphones to power grids, and the mining and production of this precious metal has a significant environmental impact. However, with recent innovations in mining and production technologies, we may be able to meet this growing demand without harming the environment.
Companies engaged in copper exploration are currently leading the charge towards a greener future for the industry. One such company is Rio Tinto, which has been working on developing a new method of extracting copper from ore that does not require smelting. Smelting is a process that releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so eliminating it would be a big step forward in terms of reducing the environmental impact of copper mining.
Another great example is Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) which has signed a memorandum of understanding with Electric Corporation of Ecuador (“CELEC EP”) to supply local low-cost hydroelectric power to the Warintza Project (“Warintza” or “the Project”) in southeastern Ecuador. ‘Ecuador.
CELEC EP will source hydroelectric power from the national transmission grid in Ecuador to supply the primary energy needed for the Warintza project. This initiative is consistent with the “Ecuador Zero Carbon Program” drawn up by the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition and Solaris was the first signatory miner in September 2021.
Solaris wants to make the most of this efficient, renewable and cheap source of energy by studying how to electrify infrastructure such as mobile mining equipment (e.g. drills, trucks), freight transport (including gravity assisted) and treatment and pumping systems.
Daniel Earle, President and CEO, commented in a press release, “The MOU with CELEC supports our vision to explore the potential for electrified operations that maximize the structural benefits of the Warintza Project in a mining district. rich in infrastructure with the aim of reducing costs. , increasing efficiency, reducing emissions and broadly positioning the project as a leading development opportunity across a range of financial and ESG measures in the industry.
Supplying renewable energy to Warintza’s mining infrastructure and operations will help offset the project’s environmental impact and could set a precedent for other mines in the region.
Other companies have also considered shifting transportation to a net-zero emissions model, in which electric vehicles are powered by renewable energy sources. This would not only reduce emissions from the mining process itself, but also from transporting copper ore to processing plants.
Considering that copper is one of the key elements in the transition to renewable energy, it is encouraging to see the exploration and production industry working hard to reduce its environmental impact. Through continued research and development, companies like Solaris Resources are advancing the mission to net zero faster than ever.