The Carbon Emissions of Gold Mining
The Carbon Emissions of Gold Mining
As companies progress towards net-zero goals, decarbonizing all sectors, including mining, has become a vital need.
Gold has a long history as a valuable metal due to its rarity, durability, and universal acceptance as a store of value. However, traditional gold mining is a process that is taxing on the environment and a major contributor to the increasing carbon emissions in our atmosphere.
The above infographic from our sponsor Nature’s Vault provides an overview of the global carbon footprint of gold mining.
The Price of Gold
To understand more about the carbon emissions that gold mining contributes to, we need to understand the different scopes that all emissions fall under.
In the mining industry, these are divided into three scopes.
- Scope 1: These include direct emissions from operations.
- Scope 2: These are indirect emissions from power generation.
- Scope 3: These cover all other indirect emissions.
With this in mind, let’s break down annual emissions in CO2e tonnes using data from the World Gold Council as of 2019. Note that total emissions are rounded to the nearest 1,000.
|1||Mining, milling, concentrating and smelting||45,490,000|
|3||Suppliers, goods, and services||25,118,000|
Total annual emissions reach around 126,359,000 CO2e tonnes. To put this in perspective, that means that one year’s worth of gold mining is equivalent to burning nearly 300 million barrels of oil.
Gold in Nature’s Vault
A significant portion of gold’s downstream use is either for private investment or placed in banks. In other words, a large amount of gold is mined, milled, smelted, and transported only to be locked away again in a vault.
Nature’s Vault is decarbonizing the gold mining sector for both gold and impact investors by eliminating the most emission-intensive part of the mining process—mining itself.
By creating digital assets like the NaturesGold Token and the Pistol Lake NFT that monetize the preservation of gold in the ground, emissions and the environmental damage associated with gold mining are avoided.
How Does it Work?
Through the same forms of validation used in traditional mining by Canada’s National Instrument NI 43-101 and Australia’s Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC), Nature’s Vault first determines that there is gold in an ore body.
Then, using blockchain and asset fractionalization, the mineral rights and quantified in-ground gold associated with these mineral rights are tokenized.
This way, gold for investment can still be used without the emission-intensive process that goes into mining it. Therefore, these digital assets are an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional gold investments.
Click here to learn more about gold in Nature’s Vault.
You may also like
Green5 days ago
Ranked: The 20 Most Air-Polluted Cities on Earth
Using 2022 average PM2.5 concentrations, we’ve ranked the most polluted cities in the world according to IQAir.
Green2 months ago
Mapped: Air Pollution Levels Around the World in 2022
Exploring 2022 average air pollution levels around the world by PM2.5 concentration.
Environment2 months ago
Visualizing the Flow of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in the U.S.
A look at the flow of energy-related CO2 emissions from the sources that generate energy to the sectors that use it.
Automotive4 months ago
Chart: Automakers’ Adoption of Fuel-Saving Technologies
See how 14 major automakers have adopted various fuel-saving technologies in this infographic based on EPA data.
Environment4 months ago
Explainer: What to Know About the Ohio Train Derailment
A train transporting a number of potentially dangerous chemicals derailed near the Ohio–Pennsylvania border. This infographic explains what happened
Technology4 months ago
Infographic: 11 Tech Trends to Watch in 2023
This infographic highlights eleven exciting areas within the world of technology worth keeping an eye on in 2023.