Udokan Copper to cut emissions by 75% by 2035

Udokan Copper to cut emissions by 75% by 2035
The reduction will be achieved using alternative energy sources and potentially by electrifying mining vehicles. / Image: Udokan Copper.
By Theo Normanton in Moscow February 11, 2022

Russian metallurgical company Udokan Copper announced on February 9 that it may reduce its carbon footprint by up to 75% by 2035.

The company, owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings, plans to launch a new site in Udokan in Russia’s Far East later this year – the world’s third-largest copper deposit. Usmanov has spoken of metals as key to a sustainable future due to their important role in green technologies. Copper, for example is an essential component in electric wiring, so is likely to see demand grow as electric vehicles (EVs) replace conventional cars.

"Udokan Mining and Metallurgical Plant may become one of the first Russian companies producing climatically neutral copper," said deputy general director for Sustainable Development Julia Shabala in a company statement.

The company plans to obtain energy from low-carbon sources in order to reduce its carbon emissions. I-REC certificates will also help the company to track the origin of the power it uses (technology developed by the International REC Standard Foundation to trace the source of energy).

Udokan is also considering developing and using its own energy derived from renewable sources to power its operations. And it will examine the possibility of electrifying its existing fleet of vehicles, it said in a statement.

The Udokan project includes both a mine and a processing plant, which will produce copper cathodes and sulphide concentrate. The first stage of the plant, due to open this year, will produce up to 135,000 tonnes of copper each year, and cost around $4bn.