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Yamana Gold releases greenhouse gas abatement targets

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Global Mining Review,

Yamana Gold Inc. has announced the outcome of its foundational work on its Climate Action Strategy, announced on 11 February 2021, which describes the company’s commitment to a low-carbon future. The foundational work began in early 2021 and Yamana previously indicated that it would complete its work and establish science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement targets by end of year.

Yamana has raised its climate action ambition by adopting a 1.5°C target compared to pre-industrial levels.

Foundational climate action work has been completed successfully, including the determination of base year emissions, emissions forecasts, GHG abatement pathways for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and physical and transition risks aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Annual emissions reduction of approximately 4.2% will be required until 2030 to meet a 1.5°C temperature scenario, which the company expects to meet by that date.

Yamana is on track to produce approximately 85% of its gold equivalent ounces (GEO) with renewable energy by the end of 2022.

Yamana will be able to meet the targets with a modest, almost incremental amount of investment.

Yamana will continue to assess further opportunities to improve on its goals of GHG abatement, including adoption of advancing technologies for its new mines.

Foundational work completed in 2021 established 2019 as the base year for emissions, established emissions forecasts until 2030 based on life-of-mine plans for its four wholly-owned operations, and established the GHG abatement pathways for Scope 1 and 2 emissions at the company’s operations in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The foundational work, led by an interdisciplinary Working Group in collaboration with operations and with the involvement of respected third-party experts, also identified and assessed physical and transitional risks at the operations, including risk mitigation and financial impacts, as part of the company’s alignment with the recommendations of the TCFD.

In addition to the 2°C temperature scenario compared to pre-industrial levels, emissions forecasts for the well-below 2°C and 1.5°C temperature scenarios were also assessed. The 1.5°C scenario has become the gold standard target to demonstrate commitment to a low-carbon future. After conducting top-down and bottom-up GHG reduction opportunity assessments at each operation, Yamana has raised its ambition from a 2°C – aligned target in early 2021 to a 1.5°C target. Work has been performed in conformance with evolving international best practice, including the GHG Protocol, Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) guidelines, and the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Climate Change Protocol.

Based on the company’s analysis of a 1.5°C temperature scenario, an annual emissions reduction of approximately 4.2% will be required until 2030. Details of the company’s reduction pathways including the modest investments that will help achieve the 1.5°C scenario target will be available in its TCFD report expected to be released February 2022. The company has concluded that it will be able to meet these reduction targets by its 2030 target. The company’s ability to meet the 1.5°C temperature scenario is in part the result of a focus on efficient, high-grade underground mines and operating in jurisdictions that have a large proportion of available renewable, green electricity. A newly-signed power purchase agreement at Minera Florida, scheduled to become effective in 2022, will provide 100% renewable electricity over the next five years. When coupled with similar agreements at Jacobina and El Peñon, approximately 85% of the company’s GEO will be produced with renewable energy by the end of 2022.

As part of its previously-announced growth plans at Wasamac, Odyssey and Jacobina, Yamana is evaluating opportunities to further reduce its GHG emissions by investing in battery-electric vehicles, automation and other emerging technologies. The company’s near-term growth in both Quebec and Brazil will leverage electrical grids that have a high proportion of green, renewable energy. Hydroelectric and other forms of non-fossil fuel energy constituted more than 99.9% of the Quebec grid energy in 2020.

In 2022, the company will continue to refine its analysis and transition to a more operations-focused approach as it continues work to identify and assess additional opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. The company will also begin to define its Scope 3 GHG emissions, including those from its 50% owned Canadian Malartic Mine. Yamana is proud of the work undertaken to date and the positive trajectory that has been established to meet its climate action commitments.

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