Anglo inks MoU with Europe’s largest copper supplier aimed at boosting metal’s provenance

Copper cathodes waiting for dispatch

ANGLO American has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurubis AG, Europe’s largest copper supplier aimed at improving provenance of the metal.

Mining firms are increasingly conscious of ethical sourcing of materials to end-users in terms of sustainability goals and, potentially, as a way of attracting price premia.

Peter Whitcutt, head of Anglo’s marketing business, said the agreement with Aurubis – which is also the world’s largest copper recycling company – is to “establish ethical value chains”.

Said Whitcutt: “We are now working to establish a more comprehensive and integrated approach along the entirety of what is a fragmented mine-to-customer journey”.

Anglo recently commissioned the $6bn Quellaveco copper mine in Peru, a 300,000 ton a year operation that will boost Anglo’s Ebitda from copper to as much as 33% of total from 27% last year, according to Goldman Sachs in a recent report.

The agreement with Aurubis aims to develop “technology-driven traceability solutions” that will improve knowledge from mine to warehouse.

It is the third announcement this month alone from Anglo focused on sustainability and ethics. Earlier this week it said it had secured desalinated water supply for its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile from 2025 reducing its draw on fresh water by 45%.

On November 16, it said it had secured 100% of power supply for its Australian operations from renewable sources, effective from about 2025.

Including agreements in place for its South America operations, also from 2025, Anglo would draw 60% of its global electricity requirements from renewable sources which would “transform our Scope 2 emissions profile”, it said.

In October, Anglo said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with steelmaker ThyssenKrupp for the development of a high-quality iron ore suitable for its direct reduction iron steelmaking process (DRI).

DRI steelmaking is less carbon intensive than conventional blast furnace technology that Anglo will continue to supply with feedstock.

In terms of its emissions reduction plan, Anglo aims to cut its Scope 3 carbon dioxide output 50% by 2040 – the year in which it also hopes to have attained Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon neutrality.