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Low-carbon nickel positions Vale well in EV market

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Vale has announced that Intertek Group Plc has lent independent third-party limited assurance to the carbon footprint of nickel rounds produced at the Long Harbour refinery in Newfoundland, Canada.

Long Harbour rounds had a carbon footprint of 4.4 t of CO2 equivalent per tonne of nickel in 2020, the last complete year for which figures are available. That compares with the Nickel Institute average for Class 1 nickel of 13 t CO2 equivalent and 45 t for Class 2.

Mark Travers, Executive Vice President for Base Metals at Vale, comments:

“The low-carbon footprint of our Long Harbour rounds positions Vale well in the growing electric vehicle industry, in North America and beyond.”

Maria Luiza Paiva, Vale’s Executive Vice President for Sustainability, comments:

“This verification shows we are delivering low-carbon products and committed to responsible carbon data management and transparency.”

Carbon footprint was measured in accordance with the Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard for the GHG Protocol, a comprehensive global standardised framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions. Vale assesses carbon footprint using the industry standard ‘cradle-to-gate’ approach, comprising Scope 1 and 2 emissions generated during mining, milling and refining, as well as upstream Scope 3 emissions from inputs. Carbon inventories are also subject to third-party audits.

In operation since 2014, the Long Harbour refinery produces nickel using hydrometallurgy rather than pyrometallurgy – meaning no smelters and no smokestacks. It delivers lower greenhouse gases and costs, and higher recoveries of valuable by-products, such as cobalt.

Vale has pledged up to US$6 billion to cut absolute carbon emissions 33% by 2030 and lower value-chain emissions 15% by 2035, part of efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Travers comments:

“Vale has the products and ESG credentials to help drive sustainability in the electric vehicle supply chain. Customers in this fast-growing market want high-purity, responsibly sourced nickel, and Vale is ready to supply it.”

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