Metso Insights Blog People and culture We are on a quest to decarbonize the industry - good progress with sustainability in 2022
Feb 20, 2023

We are on a quest to decarbonize the industry - good progress with sustainability in 2022

Tanja Mäkinen
Tanja Mäkinen
Communications Manager, Sustainability
The global energy transition requires minerals, and both mining and aggregates production are energy-intensive processes with significant environmental footprints. Our customers must meet the growing demand for minerals while managing decreasing ore grades and stricter sustainability requirements. That’s why we invent more sustainable ways to help our customers.

In 2022, Planet Positive demand exceeded expectations. We have over 100 Planet Positive products designed to support our customers’ publicly stated climate change and other sustainability targets. Our Planet Positive services can improve our customers’ processes through modernizations and upgrades, as well as optimize existing production processes. Our customers’ success is our success. Planet Positive sales totaled EUR 1.3 billion in 2022, growing a remarkable 51% from 2021.

In 2022, we had multiple orders with a significant proportion of Planet Positive technology. These included battery minerals processing plants supporting global energy transition and electrification, for instance a EUR 120 million order for a lithium project in Finland, a EUR 100 million order for a Copper-Gold-Molybdenum concentrator complex in Uzbekistan, and a EUR 55 million order for pyro processing and comminution lines for a lithium hydroxide processing plant in Australia. Planet Positive comminution circuits were also included in orders such as the delivery of an energy-efficient comminution technology package for a garnet greenfield project in Norway.

Planet Positive orders

EUR 120 million order for a lithium project supporting global energy transition. Read press release here.

Planet Positive orders

EUR 100 million order for a Copper-Gold-Molybdenum concentrator complex. Read press release here.

Planet Positive orders

EUR 55 million order for pyro processing and comminution lines for a lithium hydroxide processing plant. Read press release here.

During the year we received orders for several tailings and dry stacking solutions for improved water efficiency and safety, including, for example, filtration technology for dry stacking of tailings at a copper-gold concentrator project in Greece. Several orders for smelting, next-generation pelletizing, and sulfuric acid plants, all helping to drive industry decarbonization, were also booked.

In 2022, we announced a multi-year Life Cycle Services contract for a novel Planet Positive mill lining recycling service for used mill liners. This is the latest addition to our Planet Positive circularity offering. In addition, numerous smaller LCS and engineering contracts were signed and Planet Positive Services was a significant contributor to our sales.

Over 30 Planet Positive launches

Planet Positive launches in 2022 included new technologies that extend our existing solutions for new customer segments often with a significant digital elements. We have also updated our existing product families. Some of our 2022 key launches were:

  • Geminex™, a digital solution that simulates customers’ processes safely and enables a reduced carbon footprint and more efficient use of resources
  • Ferroflame LowNOx burner for improving the combustion process and reducing NOx emissions in smelting
  • Next generation OKTOP® CIL reactor for gold cyanide leaching and recovery for minimized activated carbon fines-related gold losses and an electric energy consumption reduction of up to 50%
  • Energy- and water-efficient AC filter for advanced and sustainable battery metals processing
  • A scalable and customizable Filtration Plant Unit offering for different types of dewatering applications to maximize operational reliability and increase water and energy efficiency
  • Cloud-based Metrics tool for mobile and stationary crushers and screens that enables remote monitoring, CO2 tracking, 24/7 access to real-time data and critical dashboards for utilization and geolocation data. This tool was developed together with distributors and customers
  • Sense series, a portfolio of intelligent instruments designed to solve specific process challenges and enable optimization for minerals and hydrometallurgical processes

Since its launch, Geminex has attracted tremendous interest. It enables our customers to achieve a step change in performance in terms of managing variability in their operations through scenario planning and control while achieving better environmental and financial performance. In early January 2023, readers of Mining Magazine, a leading industry media, voted Metso Outotec Geminex a winner of the Mining Magazine 2022 Awards competition, celebrating outstanding achievements that advance the state of play in the mining industry.

A more sustainable future is built on research, development and partnerships

The global energy transition depends on innovation and effective partnerships with customers and other industry players. Last year we invested EUR 70 million in R&D and 99.7% of R&D project spend was on projects with sustainability targets.

In 2022 we formed several partnerships for developing new sustainable technologies. These included, for example, working with Rio Tinto on the development of the BioIronTM project for low-carbon iron making. The BioIronTM process is a breakthrough technology using biomass, such as agricultural by-products, instead of metallurgical coal as a reductant, and microwave energy to convert iron ore to metallic iron.

We also signed a collaboration agreement with Malvern Panalytical to provide sensor-based bulk ore sorting solutions using data-driven analysis. This allows mining customers to substantially improve head grade by preconcentrating the ore at the crushing stage and upgrading low-grade or waste stockpiles, making them more economical and less energy-intensive to treat. Towards year-end, TNG Limited, an Australian resource company, awarded Metso Outotec a study to reduce Mount Peake Ti-V magnetite concentrate using Planet Positive Circored technology.

In January 2023, we announced a partnership with Ma’aden in Saudi Arabia for developing a novel circular concept to improve the sustainability of their phosphate operations. The aim is to design a groundbreaking integrated complex for the processing of phosphogypsum, a waste by-product from phosphoric acid production, to reduce the amount of solid waste and allow the capture of CO2 emissions. The new circular process will support the company in achieving their ambitious sustainability goals.

Biolron project

Working with Rio Tinto on the development of low-carbon iron making. Read press release here.

Sensor-based bulk ore sorting

A collaboration with Malvern Panalytical on ore sorting solutions using data-driven analysis. Read press release here.

A novel circular concept

A partnership with Ma'adem for developing a novel circular concept to improve the sustainability of phosphate operations. Read press release here.

We continue to innovate together with our customers

As environmental policies tighten, global pressure to adopt more sustainable technologies that cut emissions, save water, reduce energy consumption and the production of waste, as well as offer solutions for circularity, is increasing. That’s why we continue to innovate together with our customers.

To maintain our license to operate we must also look downstream and manage our own emissions as well as help our suppliers handle their part of the emissions equation.

2022 environmental footprint actions
Decreasing the environmental footprint of our operations, logistics and supply chain is a high priority for us. We made good progress in 2022 but there is still much to do to reach our goal of net zero.