Renewable energy will be used for about half the power requirements of Canadian diversified mining group Teck Resources’ Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) copper project, in Chile.
The company on Monday announced a long-term power purchase agreement with NYSE-listed AES’ Chile subsidiary, AES Gener, for 118 MW from a renewable energy portfolio, including wind, solar and hydroelectric energy. This in addition to the 21 MW of solar power already contracted from AES Gener. Once effective, more than 50% of QB2’s total operating power needs are expected to be from renewable sources.
The transition to renewable power will replace QB2’s previous fossil fuel power sources.
“Switching to renewable power for QB2 is part of Teck’s ongoing work to reduce emissions, achieve carbon neutrality across our business, and support global action on climate change,” said president and CEO Don Lindsay.
The company on Monday also revealed plans to be carbon-neutral across all its operations by 2050.
QB2 is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper resources. It is currently under construction and when complete, will produce 316 400 t/y of copper equivalent in the first five years of its 28-year mine life at an all-in sustaining cost of $1.38/lb and a C1 cash cost of $1.28/lb payable copper. The average life-of-mine production is estimated to be 278 500 t/y of copper equivalent.
In addition to renewable power, QB2 will also feature the first large-scale use of desalinated seawater for mining in the Tarapacá region of Chile, in place of freshwater use.