Boliden ups emissions goal

Control room at Garpenberg mine. Image from Boliden.

Boliden on Tuesday raised its goal to cut emissions of climate-warming gases this decade in its drive towards fossil-fuel free metals production.

Mining, together with industries like heavy road transportation and aviation, is a so-called hard-to-abate sector that is difficult to fully electrify.

Boliden, which mainly produces base metals such as copper, nickel and zinc but also precious metals, said it now aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – those the company can directly influence – by 40% from 2021 levels by 2030.

“In many respects, we are driving developments toward fossil-free base metal production … It will provide a long-term boost to competitiveness,” Chief Executive Officer Mikael Staffas said in a statement.

Boliden had previously targeted a 40% reduction between 2012 and 2030 of its so-called CO2 intensity, which measures the amount of greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, emitted per tonne of metal produced. The measure means absolute emissions can rise in line with growing production, even if the intensity metric falls.

In the last decade, the firm had reduced its carbon intensity by some 15%, a spokesperson said.

It has also introduced a target to reduce Scope 3 emissions – those that are produced along its supply chain – by 30% by 2030.

“We view the new climate goals as a positive and Boliden is one of the few companies to set emissions targets at the supplier level although these new decarbonisation targets could add to medium-term capital expenditure,” RBC analysts said in a research note.

Boliden separately said it would close its mining exploration activities in Finland’s Outokumpu field, incurring a 24.4 million euro ($25.38 million) impairment charge in the fourth quarter.

($1 = 0.9614 euros)

(By Marie Mannes; Editing by Stine Jacobsen and Kirsten Donovan)

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