MINER MAG Q2 2022 MOBILE - Page 8


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 .”


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 .
The same location in 2016 after restoration .