BHP has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with China Copper and Daye Nonferrous – two of China’s leading copper producers – to develop a more sustainable and responsible copper value chain with the aim of supporting the world’s energy transition.
The MoUs will allow the parties to leverage their expertise in exploring opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint, improve materials and energy efficiency, and manage waste streams in copper production. The non-exclusive nature of the proposed collaboration aims to enable further, similar partnerships with industry peers and downstream users.
BHP said the parties plan to develop technology and innovations for copper smelting and refining, such as use of low-carbon emission fuels, improved heat and energy efficiency, lower intensity reuse and recycling of byproducts, as well as explore ways to improve traceability along the copper value chain.
“Copper demand is expected to increase significantly to support the megatrends of decarbonisation and electrification. While BHP supplies the growing market, it is equally important for us to do so in a more sustainable and responsible way, and collaboration with key industry value chain partners plays a vital role,” said BHP Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant.
With 30.52 million tons of copper and 30 million tons of lead and zinc in reserves, China Copper has an annual capacity of smelting 1.28 million tons of copper, refining 0.5 million tons of copper, and smelting 0.8 million tons of lead and zinc.
Daye Nonferrous, a subsidiary of China Nonferrous Mining Group, has an annual capacity of mining and beneficiating 3.47 million tons of minerals, as well as producing 0.9 million tons of copper cathode, 20 tons of gold, 1,000 tons of silver, 2.48 million tons of sulfuric acid, and 0.3 million tons of copper rods.