Will copper spur the sustainable energy transition?
A world first study by the University of Sydney's Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, Zero Emission Copper Mine of the Future, lays out how Australian copper mining can be cleaner and smarter using emerging technologies.
The Zero Emission Copper Mine of the Future report by the University of Sydney’s Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering sets out how Australian copper mining can become emission free over the next 30 years through the use of emerging technologies.
This ‘world first’ roadmap, commissioned by the International Copper Association Australia (ICAA), identifies five key target areas for technological innovation to reduce and ultimately eliminate mining emissions: exploration, movement of materials, ventilation, processing, and water use.
The range of technologies copper supports is vast: autonomous drones and robot machinery, next generation sensors, Mixed Reality (immersive technology), wearable tech, in-situ ore recovery, novel leaching processes and on demand ventilation are just some examples.
Copper is widely used in green innovation, used by industries seeking to reduce their environmental impact.
“Hybrid and electric vehicles rely on copper, as do renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic, wind farms, hydroelectricity and associated grid infrastructure. Constructing a renewable energy system demands significantly more copper than traditional systems,” Director of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, Ashley Brinson, said.