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Mining giant transitions away from fossil fuels

Rio Tinto heavy vehicles
Rio Tinto heavy vehicles

A major resources producer abandoned non-renewable energy sources for the first time.

Rio Tinto confirmed none of its heavy machinery will run on fossil diesel at its Boron operation.

Haul trucks, loaders, blasting equipment, light vehicles and other heavy machinery will operate on renewable diesel instead. The change is promised to remove up to 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to about 9600 cars.

Neste MY renewable diesel is made from used cooking oil and animal fat waste that is touted to be sustainably sourced and 100 per cent renewable. Trials showed renewable diesel delivered similar performance and reliability to conventional diesel in haul trucks.

The proponent is so pleased with initial results that it also intends to roll out renewable diesel to other mines across the world.

“Borax operations have become the first open pit mine to operate a fleet running entirely on renewable diesel. This is an excellent example of what happens when internal and external partners collaborate toward a carbon reduction goal,” Rio minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said in a public statement.

“The transition at Boron is an important first step and will undoubtedly lead to further opportunities to decarbonise our global operations.”

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