Junior explorer QMines (ASX: QML) has moved forward with a string of carbon abatement strategies at the historic Mt Chalmers mine in Queensland with the aim of becoming Australia’s first zero carbon copper-gold developer.
The company has taken a number of proactive steps towards executing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, including a self-assessment prior to its ASX listing that helped refine its knowledge and understanding of which business activities were emitting the most carbon.
QMines has since signed an agreement with an Australian renewable fuel supplier targeting an initial 20% reduction in Scope 1 diesel emissions from its drilling and exploration activities and providing a long-term supply of renewable fuel for the revival of its flagship development.
It has also upgraded the on-site solar and battery backup network at Mt Chalmers, installing an additional 6.6-kilowatt renewable energy generation system which will allow its operations to remain off-grid.
It has doubled the capacity of its on-site wastewater management system and commenced a federal government-backed Climate Active assessment setting out its emissions sources and abatement strategies, with certification expected early next year.
Commitment to net zero
With copper being a vital metal in the global energy transition, QMines executive chairman Andrew Sparke said the initiatives demonstrate a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2030.
“Since our ASX listing in May, we have been diligently working on a number of carbon abatement strategies,” he said.
“Our initial investigations show that diesel usage for exploration drilling and associated activities is expected to be our largest source of carbon emissions [and the] renewable fuel agreement demonstrates our commitment to immediately decreasing these emissions by an initial 20%, with further reductions expected over time.”
Located 17 kilometres northeast of Rockhampton, Mt Chalmers is a high-grade historic mine which produced 1.2 million tonnes grading 3.6 grams per tonne gold, 2% copper and 19g/t silver between 1898 and 1982.
The mine has an inferred resource of 3.9Mt at 1.15% copper, 0.81g/t gold and 8.4g/t silver.
QMines aims to grow its resource base with an aggressive exploration program of more than 30,000m.
It also plans to consolidate assets in the region and assess commercialisation options.