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Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Self Reporting Database for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation » Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Published: September 03Project Number: C10063

Get ReportAuthor: Rhys Worrall, Cliff Mallett | CSIRO Exploration &Mining

The project has developed a greenhouse gas reporting database for use by coal mines which calculates the greenhouse gas emissions from mines using standardised inputs and emission factors. It allows mines to track the major categories of emissions through time, recording the impact of revised mining methods and mitigation strategies. It provides a measure of a mine's potential liabilities in a carbon valuing regime and the value of mitigation measures.

Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions in 2000 totalled 535.3 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2-e. This is the first NGGI (National Greenhouse Gas Inventory) to fully incorporate robust estimates of land use change emissions, and as such is substantially higher than previous years figures. Overall coal mining activity accounts for approximately 30 Mt CO2-e, or 5.6% of the national total. Measuring this total accurately is important to gauge environmental effects; for economic performance, it is even more critical if carbon trading becomes a reality. To put the numbers into perspective, a frequently quoted value for 1 tonne of CO2-e is US$10. The coal industry's CO2-e value is therefore US$300 million (AUD$500 - 600 million/year, depending on exchange rates). Despite the significance of these numbers, these overall industry totals cannot be considered particularly accurate, with measurement across the industry inconsistent, leading to errors in reporting. Inaccurately measure fugitive emissions are the coal industry's largest source of greenhouse emissions.

This project has focussed on developing a simple greenhouse gas inventory system tailored to the needs of the coal industry. It seeks to standardise many of the factors and techniques used in greenhouse gas accounting. The demonstration software developed by this project team of CSIRO and Energetics Pty Ltd, based on the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program, represents the results of this process. In the future, if mines are required to account for emissions from the embodied energy contained in infrastructure, or the emissions from changes in land use practice, additional modules for these sources could be added to the database to reflect these requirements. As such, the system is 'future-proofed' and can be modified as required.

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