The goal is to provide greater assurances to companies looking to implement this technology in projects that are already under way.
At least three mining initiatives that are in their development stages are looking to incorporate the use of green hydrogen, considering the potential that this technology is thought to have in Chile.
In this context, the Chilean Government has presented its “Guide for the Approval of Pilot Projects in Mining,” an initiative led by the Mining and Energy Ministries, alongside the National Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN). The aim is to provide greater assurances to companies that want to use hydrogen in the mining industry, a sector that is considered fundamental to promoting the use of the fuel during its initial phases of development.
“We want Chile to lead the transition towards the mining of the future, one that is clean and innovative. The incorporation of green hydrogen in the industry is essential to achieving this change, leaving fossil fuels behind and replacing them with zero-emission fuels. Mining companies are already trialing the use of hydrogen in their operations, and the challenge is now to create the conditions to scale these projects and encourage new initiatives,” declared Energy and Mining Biminister, Juan Carlos Jobet.
Uses of green hydrogen in mining
Within the working timetable, a series of sessions will take place to address different applications related to the use of hydrogen in areas such as transporting people and supplying heavy equipment. The sessions will also measure progress in the field, in order to make the required regulatory adjustments.
“The types of tools that can help orient the industry to implement projects and applications that use this energy supply in different mining processes will be essential to laying the groundwork for the safe and efficient development of green hydrogen in Chile. This guide will help to reduce any market uncertainty, to speed up the introduction of green hydrogen in the mining industry and reduce any of the complexities associated with processing authorizations for new projects,” Mr. Jobet explained from the Mining Ministry.
Green hydrogen projects in Chile
One of the projects already underway is looking to develop the first reconditioned trucks that use a dual fuel supply. The project is aiming for hydrogen to replace 60% of the diesel currently used. Prototypes could be trialed this year.
The work is being led by Alset Global, with the participation of various Chilean and foreign institutions, such as NTT Data (Japan), the Universidad Católica and the Universidad de Santiago, the mining companies, BHP, Anglo American and CAP, as well as Acciona, Hydrogenics and ENGIE.
Another project under development relates to the use of hydrogen in fuel cells and is looking to adapt the fuel supply of front-end loaders used in underground mining from diesel to hydrogen. This initiative is being carried out by a consortium led by the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María and involves the participation of ACERA, SONAMI, Siemens, Collahuasi and CODELCO, among others.
There is also another project underway that is looking to develop battery-powered fuel modules for use in the mining industry. This initiative was one of the winners of Chile’s Economic Development Agency’s (CORFO) 2020 Innova High Technology Program.
To learn more about investment opportunities in green hydrogen in Chile, please read the following article.
Source: El Mercurio