Technology strategies to achieve carbon-peak and carbon-neutrality for China's metal mines

Qifeng Guo, Xun Xi, Shangtong Yang, Meifeng Cai

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Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to human activities have significantly caused climate change since the Industrial Revolution. China aims to achieve its carbon emission peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. Accordingly, this paper reviews and discusses technical strategies to achieve the "dual carbon" targets in China's metal mines. First, global carbon emissions and emission intensities from metal mining industries are analyzed. The metal mining status and carbon emissions in China are then examined. Furthermore, advanced technologies for carbon mitigation and carbon sequestration in metal mines are reviewed. Finally, a technical roadmap for achieving carbon neutrality in China's metal mines is proposed. Findings show that some international mining giants have already achieved their carbon reduction targets and planned to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Moreover, improving mining efficiency by developing advanced technologies and replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy are two key approaches in reducing GHG emissions. Green mines can significantly benefit from the carbon neutrality process for metal mines through the carbon absorption of reclamation vegetations. Geothermal energy extraction from operating and abandoned metal mines is a promising technology for providing clean energy and contributing to the carbon neutrality target of China's metal mines. Carbon sequestration in mine backfills and tailings through mineral carbonation has the potential to permanently and safely store carbon dioxide, which can eventually make the metal mining industry carbon neutral or even carbon negative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626–634
Number of pages9
Journal International Journal of Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials
Issue number4
Early online date9 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022


  • carbon emissions
  • carbon neutrality
  • China's metal mines
  • deep mining
  • mining efficiency


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