AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) (OTCMKTS:AZZVF) (FRA:3A2) has completed a comprehensive independent greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment for the life of mine of its Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the DRC, which showed the project could have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any global hard rock lithium miner.
The assessment was completed by leading global environmental and sustainability consultants, Environmental Resource Management (ERM), and evaluated the estimated scope 1 and scope 2 emissions associated with all operations over the 20-year life of the Manono mine, processing facilities and road transportation of the products.
ERM found that the project could have a low carbon footprint due to AVZ’s strategic location adjacent to the Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) which, once refurbished, is anticipated to provide all the project’s electricity requirements.
In an age where EV supply chains and financiers alike are searching for suppliers that have low carbon footprints, the result of ERM's study is welcome news for AVZ.
“Making Manono a ‘green’ mine”
AVZ’s managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “We will continue to strive towards improving our greenhouse gas emissions profile as we develop the world-class Manono Project.”
“Ultimately, we want to see the electricity generated from the Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant used to operate all our mining equipment, making the Manono Project a 100% ‘green’ mine.
“Any surplus power may be provided into the national grid for use in the town of Manono.
“This will be a significant achievement for AVZ and everyone associated with the Manono Project, including our shareholders and our financiers.”
The greenhouse gases evaluated in the study included carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4).
Shares have been almost 14% higher intra-day to A$0.215 and the company's market cap sits at approximately A$591.3 million.
Project SC6 emission intensities comparison (using Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions)
Other GHG mitigation measures
AVZ is also investigating and planning substantial GHG mitigation measures which include:
- Purchase of an electric mining fleet once commercially viable equipment is available;
- Generation of Hydrogen (H2) from excess renewable electricity to enable use of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs); and
- The establishment of a 5,000-hectare sequestration plantation.
AVZ’s plan to transition to a fleet of electric mining and haulage vehicles should reduce GHG emissions of the Manono Project by an estimated 29,404 tonnes of CO2-equivalent (e)/year.
The GHG emissions associated with the production of primary lithium sulphate (PLS) are anticipated to be greater than the emissions associated with the production of spodumene concentrate (SC6).
This is due to the consumption of diesel in the calciner plant within the PLS processing facility.
The company is pursuing alternative energy sources to diesel for the calciner plant and is also investigating additional carbon capture sequestration technology with the aim of recovering the CO2 from diesel fired calcining kilns and converting it on site to soda ash, thereby further decreasing the CO2-e/year.