The road to green zinc…decarbonisation of zinc production
The production of zinc from ore to metal emits around 40 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Emissions from zinc mines and smelters are much lower in comparison to other metals, but to move towards low-carbon zinc production, producers need to take action now to decarbonise production and meet climate targets. Emissions are driven by the source of the power and fuel used at the respective mine or smelter. Because of the differences in energy requirements, zinc smelting produces double the emissions of zinc mining. To decarbonise zinc production, both mining and smelting companies need access to renewable power sources. Investment in renewable power schemes whether company-owned or in third-party schemes, will give direct access to renewable energy and is the optimal route. Alternative initiatives are to move to purchased power contracts using renewable energy whilst still connected to the grid.