WA’s mining sector must plan for net zero emissions now, Deloitte report warns

The authors of a new Deloitte report on the future of Western Australia’s mining sector have warned that operators must begin planning net zero mines in 2020 or be seen as ‘ignorant at best in just a few years’.

The report, launched at this week’s Diggers and Dealers 2020 conference at Kalgoorlie in WA, details the potential economic benefits of de-carbonising the Australian state’s massive mining industry.

“Ensuring every decision considers the lens of reducing long term emissions and increasing optionality will conversely be seen as highly strategic and advantageous,” the report read.

Decarbonisation could be a daunting prospect to start from scratch and the extent of potential work “can feel as though it may be expensive”, said Deloitte energy transition and decarbonisation partner John O’Brien.

“The first step for mid-market miners is to understand the [carbon] abatement challenge, cost it and set abatement targets,” he said. “These steps are a relatively straightforward desktop exercise that can set a company on a pathway that will be seen by the market as genuine and beneficial.

Deloitte’s WA mining and metals leader Nicki Ivory added: “This capability to follow the money and scale the right products at the right time presents an incredible opportunity for WA as every economy transforms to low carbon over the next 30 years.”