On Tuesday, a knowledge-sharing agreement on sustainable mining was signed by Chile state-owned miner Codelco and multinational miner BHP Group (NYSE:BHP), as per a statement by Codelco. The “collaboration accord” establishes a commission that would exchange expertise between the two firms for the following five years in “mutual interest areas” like water use, tailings supervision, and application of advanced technologies, according to the statement.
“In order to envision novel mining methods, innovation is one of the primary axes of our management, a focus that we can only cultivate in association with players who are equally active in this quest, as is the case with BHP,” said Codelco’s CEO Andre Sougarret in the statement. The statement asserts that the agreement will tackle technologies that allow the exploitation of low-grade minerals, deep deposits, and deposits with complex metallurgical conditions, as well as the design of operations that consume less or no water.
BHP’s Americas president, Rag Udd, stated that the alliance with Codelco is a reflection of the company’s commitment to combat climate change. The mining sector has a history of environmental transgressions, but it also plays a key role in the transition to clean energy. Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, possesses the largest lithium reserves on the planet. According to the World Bank, the production of minerals such as graphite, lithium, and cobalt may rise by 500% by 2050 to meet the demand for clean energy technologies.
Last month, Chile’s government announced that it would collaborate to hand over control of the country’s lithium operations to a state-owned firm, with forthcoming lithium contracts issued only as public-private partnerships. President Gabriel Boric assigned copper behemoth Codelco the responsibility of leading negotiations with existing lithium producers in the country. Udd stated that agreements such as Tuesday’s accord between Codelco and BHP “demonstrate how collaborative work between the public and private sectors is essential in making mining an increasingly sustainable industry.”