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BHP executives are confident the company is on track to deliver its 2030 decarbonisation target, with its next goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 locked in.

The Big Australian plans to slash emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.

“To be successful, step change technology solutions driven by collaboration in the value chain will be necessary,” BHP carbon management, sustainability and climate change head Graham Winkelman told investors.

BHP has laid out a roadmap to decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions through supporting the development and adoption of emissions reduction technologies in steelmaking.

This involves enhancing the quality of the iron ore and steelmaking coal it produces, as well as supporting the uptake of decarbonising technologies and net-zero initiatives downstream in its shipping and supplier partnerships.

“We will be reliant on the availability of technology still under development, and related factors,” Winkelman said.

“The path ahead of us is not linear but remains consistent with our target and goal.

“Our clear ‘focus’ drives our ambition, we are taking ‘action’ where it matters, and we continue to ‘integrate’ decarbonisation into the core of BHP’s plans.”

BHP Minerals Australia planning and technical vice president Anna Wiley weighed in on the major’s Australian operations, where there is a focus on reducing diesel consumption.

“Each year, our Australian operations use roughly 1500 megalitres of diesel in over 1000 pieces of equipment,” Wiley said.

“Electrification is our preferred pathway to eliminate this diesel.

“Our view is that an electrified mining fleet is more economic and more achievable than the alternative fuel sources.”

But Wiley emphasised it’s not just about buying new equipment. Replacing diesel requires BHP to develop a whole new operational ecosystem to surround the fleet and every part of the mine will be affected by this change.

BHP gained new expertise through its OZ Minerals takeover, which brings its own decarbonisation trials including one underway for battery-electric road trains.

“While the challenges are formidable, we don’t think they are insurmountable,” Wiley said.

“We are working at pace, investing in creating solutions, and collaborating with others to set ourselves up for a lower emissions future.”