Franck Lançon, general manager of CyM: “A greener future for small mining”

Why is it relevant to work for a greener future in small mining?

Our conviction is that the energy transition towards a reduction in carbon emissions to reach a net balance of 0 is a universal necessity. Therefore, small mining has its responsibility in this movement in the same way as any industrial activity. However, the specificity of small Chilean mining is its endemic lack of financial resources and its ability to extract itself from market or community pressure: a Codelco or a BHP has to respond to the pressure of its shareholders, its clients, of its strategic partners to improve its carbon balance. They know that the required investments are a necessity to secure the future of their markets, the future of their community relations, and the future of their share price.

What is the position of CyM?

Our conviction is that the particular positioning of the small Chilean mining company, with its artificially protected market (ENAMI), eliminates the pressure required to invest in its energy transition. Therefore, we have imagined a different model with the following incentive: we exchange concentrate against energy. CyM proposes to provide energy that small mining pays with concentrate and this energy will be green. We believe that it is the only way to ensure the mutation of small mining.

What news can you tell us about the “Hydrogen Task Force”, of the Franco-Chilean chamber, where CyM is a member of the Sustainable Development Club?

The works of the Hydrogen Task Force illustrate the magnitude of the revolution underway on this topic:

First, the transformation of the Santiago airport into an H2 Hub. Aeroport de Paris, the airport’s new concessionaire, has initiated a plan for all runway vehicles to be fueled with green hydrogen by 2025. The close relationship between ADP and Airbus has been key in that decision. The inversions are very significant and are a good indicator of the degree of certainty of the energetic mutation.

Second, the implementation of the first hydrogen locomotive by ALSTOM in the network of the Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia (FCAB). To date, ALSTOM is the only company in the world with an operational hydrogen propulsion train. The concept is to gradually replace diesel locomotives with these new teams with a vision of 31 units over a 10-year horizon.

What news can you tell us about green hydrogen?

CyM, in collaboration with Micr’eau (our partner in ABM) and ENAMI, managed to reach the final selection phase of the projects sponsored by the French authorities. We have participated in the last audition at the French Ministry of Economy. We should receive the results within the next 45 days for a €500,000 grant to help implement the first green hydrogen generation unit for small-scale mining.