Gold mining more sustainable than other mining processes, report finds

By Dale Benton
Gold production is one of the most environmentally friendly resource mining operations, a new report has revealed. The World Gold Council has unveiled...

Gold production is one of the most environmentally friendly resource mining operations, a new report has revealed.

The World Gold Council has unveiled its Gold and Climate Change report, which aims to provide investors with clarity around gold mining and its impact on climate change.

In the report, it is revealed that the total carbon emissions for global gold production is “significantly” smaller than most other major mined products such as coal, steel and aluminium.

The report explores this further and shows that gold in fact has some of the lowest CHG emissions per dollar – which translates to a simple fact that the volume of CHG emissions associated with a dollar spent on gold is lower than a dollar spent on other key mineral resources.

But why? Well, it seems that leading responsible gold miners are doing their part and doing it well, actively making operational changes to reduce the CHG emissions and improve energy efficiency of gold mining.

 

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Why is sustainability such an important consideration in mining?

 

Terry Heymann, Chief Financial Officer at the World Gold Council, commented: “Given gold’s growing role as a strategic investment asset, the need for greater awareness of its climate-related impacts is a priority issue for many investors. Our initial findings, based on the limited research, help investors in better understanding gold’s greenhouse gas emissions profile and gold’s role as part of a diversified portfolio.”

Other key findings reveal that gold can play a key role in developing technologies that will help facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.

As an example, the report points to technologies such as gold catalysts to help convert CO2 into useful fuels, as well as the use of gold nanomaterials that enhance hydrogen fuel cell performance. Gold is also used in some cases to improve photovoltaics and how we can capture the suns energy and utilise it.

You can read the full report here.  

 

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