Haul truck driver Robert Fritz is helping the company reduce carbon emissions by driving his haul truck efficiently and safely at the Morenci mine .
HTOS was designed to improve safety and efficiency , not necessarily to reduce carbon emissions . But it has produced results in all three categories . By helping drivers operate haul trucks more efficiently , HTOS has improved the cycle times of haul truck runs , reduced fuel consumption , and saved maintenance and repair costs . Using HTOS and other asset management and optimization initiatives , the company eliminated about 126,000 operating hours from its North and South American haulage fleets year over year in 2020 . That equates to saving about 6 million gallons of fuel or about 66,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide reductions , thereby cutting costs while helping the company meet its climate commitments .
About 70 percent of all emissions generated by the company in the Americas can be attributed to the burning of diesel fuel in haulage operations .
“ Efficiency means having a positive carbon impact ,” Golden said . “ The same things that are benefiting the carbon emissions are benefiting the mine as a whole . If we have the operators really taking care of the trucks , that ’ s less diesel we have to buy , less parts and maintenance we have to do , less tires we have to replace .”
Megan Golden , Senior Mine Engineer-Chino , credits the HTOS for improving efficiency for haul truck drivers , resulting in reduced fuel consumption , lower maintenance costs and a significant reduction in the company ’ s carbon emissions .
The advantage of operating haul trucks to peak efficiency does not stop with the drivers . Mechanics also use data analytics to help ensure vehicles are maintained for peak performance through the Remote Access Monitoring System , or RAMP , which uses onboard sensors to track vehicle performance .
If a vehicle is maintained and driven properly , it will burn less fuel and emit less carbon , said Joe Rodriguez , Superintendent- Mine Maintenance , who runs the haul truck repair shop in Morenci . It also will require fewer repairs and be less likely to break down in the field , which can jam up operations and put mechanics at greater physical risk when doing repairs .
“ It ’ s taking every element of the business into consideration ,” Rodriguez said . “ We lower our costs . We lower our carbon emissions . We are maintaining machines at a very high rate and getting a lot of value out of them . And we are reducing our exposure rate on the safety front .”
BACK TO NATURE
Carbon emissions are one example of the company meeting its environmental goals while saving money through operational efficiencies . Other environmental focus areas include water and tailings management , biodiversity protection , and waste . All of those objectives come into play in places like Bisbee , Ariz . There , large swaths of land were mined decades ago by companies later acquired by Freeport . The land has since been restored to a more natural condition .
The main job of work crews at Bisbee and other reclamation sites is water management , said Robert Quintanar , Manager- Resource Reclamation . The biggest challenge is capturing and retaining any rain that falls on the site , an expensive process that involves things like lining retention ponds with waterproof barriers and using pumps to move water to other on-site locations . The tailings storage facilities and leach and low-grade rock stockpiles have concentrations of certain metals and other elements like sulfur that cannot be allowed to percolate into the groundwater or run into surface streams .
Since 2006 , the company has restored about 1,000 acres of these tailings and other stockpiles around Bisbee . It was determined that covering the piles with about 2 feet of clean soil would prevent rainwater from seeping through . Once completed , those areas were replanted with native vegetation . Since the rainwater can no longer reach the tailings , it can be allowed to run off site naturally .
That not only relieves the company of its water management obligations , an operational benefit , it reclaims decadesold mining activity while restoring wildlife habitats and adding to the scarce supply of water in the desert region , all important achievements of our ESG program . So , meeting ESG commitments is good for the environment , the people living in nearby communities and the company ’ s bottom line , Quintanar said .
“ It all goes back to our company ’ s social license to operate ,” Quintanar said . “ It ’ s part of our social commitment and our environmental stewardship .”
A catch basin with pyrite residue near Bisbee in 2007 .