• BHP to source electricity for Chilean copper operations from renewables in decision that will be “great for business”

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Mining giant BHP has announced that it is to move to sourcing all of the electricity for its Chilean copper mining operations from renewable energy, beginning in August 2021. The decision appears to have come about because of two factors – renewable energy was cheaper (by 20%, according to the Reuters report), and also strongly preferred by some shareholders. Contracts have been signed with Enel Generacion Chile (for 3 TWh per year, for 15 years, starting August 2021) and Colbun (for 3 TWh per year, for 10 years, starting January 2022). President of BHP Minerals Americas, Daniel Malchuk, said “It’s good for the environment, it’s good for emissions, but it’s also great business,” referring to the shift away from electricity from fossil fuel firing. The move may represent something of a milestone for the mining industry, and similar announcements might follow from other operations around the world, although Chile is particularly suited to low-cost renewables generation.