Energy Management and Climate Change
Energy is essential to our everyday operations. From running our mines to extracting, processing and transporting our products, we consume large amounts of energy. For our long-term success, we require access to secure, reliable energy sources. Consequently, we are concerned about our energy emissions as well as the potential climate change risks to our operations and our communities.
We have established an Energy Strategy to reduce GHG emissions. Through our Energy Strategy, we are taking active steps to better manage our energy use and minimize our greenhouse gas emissions.
Our Energy Strategy was launched in 2012 with the following five-year targets:26
- Increase energy efficiency by 15%.
- Reduce emissions by 20%.
- Source 5% of energy from renewable sources.
All our mines require different amounts and types of energy depending on size, type of mine and processing. As required by our Energy Strategy, all operating sites have developed an energy management plan and established site-specific energy savings or efficiency targets to be achieved by the end of 2016.
In addition to voluntary actions, governments are moving to introduce climate change legislation and treaties at the international, national, state/provincial and local levels. Some of the costs associated with reducing emissions can be offset by increased energy efficiency and technological innovation. However, if the current regulatory trend continues, we expect that it will result in increased costs at some of our operations. We continue to monitor the recent and pending regulations that are important in most of our jurisdictions, including Argentina, Mexico, Ontario and Québec.
Climate Change Risks
Climate change has the potential to physically impact our operations. Several potential risks are outlined in the table below:
|Climate Change Risks|
|Risk||Description||How we are managing
|Sea level rise||Rise in global waterbodies as a result of changes in climate.||Our operations are not directly threatened by current predictions of sea level rise. All of our operations are located well inland, at elevations of between 100 and 3,000 metres above sea level.|
|Extreme weather events||Extreme events (such as increased frequency or intensity of hurricanes, increased snow pack, prolonged drought, etc.) have the potential to disrupt mining operations.||Where appropriate, facilities have developed emergency plans for managing extreme weather conditions. However, extended disruptions to supply lines could result in an interruption in production.|
|Resource shortages||Mining and processing depend on the regular supply of consumables (such as diesel, tires, reagents, etc.) to operate efficiently. In the event that the effects of climate change cause prolonged disruption to the delivery of essential commodities, then our production efficiency is likely to be reduced.||We actively engage with our suppliers to understand forecasted resource shortages that could impact the supply of products required for our mining activities.|
|Water availability||Various climate change models show potential increases or decreases in precipitation at the macro level.||Our water balance modelling includes scenario analyses outside the average, historical climate conditions.|
Climate Change Opportunities
We will continue to work on improving our energy efficiency and to monitor the development of more energy-efficient products and services, and we will avail ourselves of these products and services as opportunity allows. In addition, we continue to assess options for the development of renewable resources and cleaner energy sources.
Energy Consumption within the Organization27
Energy use at our operations is primarily in the form of diesel fuel, propane gas, natural gas and electricity. Diesel is consumed in the transportation of ore and waste rock, for on-site backup electricity generation, for light plants and occasionally for heating. Electricity is purchased from provincial or federal utilities, or in some cases from private providers, for both mining and milling operations. The most significant uses of energy are the transportation of ore, ventilating and heating underground work environments, and comminution.
Total energy consumption at our operating mines is shown in the figure and table below in units of megawatt hours (MWh). Absolute energy consumption increased by approximately 3% from 2014 to 2015.28 As our mines mature, production zones tend to move deeper and further away from material handling and processing infrastructure. This typically leads to increased consumption of energy, energy intensity and production of greenhouse gas emissions. Our strategy has been to limit these increases by implementing the energy strategy and to ultimately reduce emissions intensity through the use of cleaner fuels and renewable energy.
Direct and Indirect Energy Consumption
Direct and Indirect Energy Consumption
|Natural gas (MWhe)||129,340||168,596||145,702||62,593||55,830||49,489|
Mines are dynamic entities and the mine depth, haul distance, rate of production, mine development and waste rock stripping ratios change regularly. Energy intensity can be a more meaningful metric than absolute energy consumption to track how efficiently we are managing our energy consumption across the company as we experience growth or divestment.
Energy intensity (on a tonne processed and moved basis) is shown in the graph below from the base year (2011) through 2015. Energy intensity from 2014 to 2015 decreased by approximately 2%, primarily due to the ramp-up to production at the Cerro Negro and Éléonore mines in 2015.
Energy Savings and Initiatives
Each operation has identified and planned or implemented energy efficiency opportunities as part of the Goldcorp Energy Strategy. Mines track estimated energy savings and energy key performance indicators. Estimated and calculated energy savings from the base year of 2011 through 2015 have totalled 300,000 MWh, or 8%, of 2011 consumption.30
Noteworthy energy savings initiatives include:
- Optimization of mine dewatering systems
- Increased control of underground auxiliary ventilation
- Peak electrical demand control
- Ventilation system control improvements at Red Lake
- Compressed air systems leak reduction program
- Installation of a high-pressure grinding roll mill
- Improved blasting techniques to optimize ore feed to the mill
- Commissioning of Ventilation-On-Demand system
Greenhouse Gas Emissions31
We are investigating renewables and working towards greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reductions as part of the Energy Strategy. The following is a list of some activities that have been completed and contributed to a reduction in GHG intensity, including:
- Musselwhite – Reducing base load electrical consumption and managing peak demand allowed the mine to eliminate diesel generation for production purposes. The reduced diesel consumption saved approximately 13,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2015.
- Marlin – Sourced more than three quarters of their power consumption from clean and renewable sources, including 25% from hydroelectric and 51% from biomass.
- Peñasquito – Sourced 44% of power consumption from an efficient, combined-cycled natural gas power plant, reducing GHG emissions by over 44,000 tonnes of CO2e.
- Los Filos – Sourced 17% of power consumption from the above-mentioned power plant, reducing GHG emissions by 1,585 tonnes of CO2e.
- Red Lake – Continued the switching of major heating loads from propane to natural gas, which has a lower GHG emission factor.
The energy savings described previously in the Energy section, as well as the alternative electricity sourcing at Peñasquito, Musselwhite, Los Filos and Marlin, have been calculated to result in a GHG offset or reduction of 119,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2015. This offset equates to 10% of 2011 levels.32
We made the decision at the end of 2015 to advance the study of a wind farm near the Cerro Negro project to the feasibility phase based on the favourable results from the pre-feasibility study. The results will determine if the project will move to the execution phase.
GHG reporting is done based on the GHG Protocol’s A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and is divided into three categories, depending on the source:
- Scope 1 (direct) GHGs are derived from sources that are owned or controlled by the reporting organization. Our principal source of Scope 1 emissions is fuel consumption for power generation and material movement.
- Scope 2 (indirect) GHGs are generated at sources owned or controlled by another organization. Our principal source of Scope 2 emissions is purchased electricity.
- Scope 3 (other indirect) GHGs include emissions from air transport of mine employees.
Total Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHGs on an absolute basis at our operations have been going down since 2013 and decreased by approximately 2% from 2014 to 2015, despite the ramp-up of the Cerro Negro and Éléonore mines. GHGs are reported from producing mines where we have operational control. We are not currently involved in any carbon credit or trading system. Scope 3 GHGs in 2015 were 4,735 tonnes as compared to 5,238 tonnes in 2014 and are from aviation transportation of employees to mine sites from central locations.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
GHG intensity is a metric that normalizes GHGs per a defined unit of production. This can be defined as the total amount of GHGs per tonne processed and moved, and is a metric that we track to determine how we are managing our GHGs across the company as we experience growth or divestment. Our GHG intensity has decreased by approximately 8% from the 2011 base year of our Energy Strategy, and is demonstrated in the figure below.
Greenhouse Gas Intensity
NOx, SOx and Other Significant Air Emissions
The table below shows the emissions of significant air pollutants that were derived from multiple methodologies, including direct measurement, calculation based on site-specific data, and calculation based on published emissions factors and estimation.
|Carbon monoxide (t)||1,870||2,180||1,700|
|Oxides of nitrogen (t)||1,830||1,880||1,050|
|Sulphur dioxide (t)||20||20||10|
|Particulate matter (t)||4,880||4,810||3,370|