Saturday, 24 October 2020
Presentation Review: Donna Dryden, General Manager Sustainability, Centennial
Austmine Limited
/ Categories: Articles & Editorials

Presentation Review: Donna Dryden, General Manager Sustainability, Centennial

Austmine was delighted to be joined by Donna Dryden, General Manager Sustainability, Centennial for our recent Smart Mining Networking Event in Sydney. Donna delivered an insightful presentation about sustainability in NSW coal mining, social licence to operate and Centennial’s changing energy mix in their portfolio.

Donna began by discussing the overarching topic of sustainability, with her definition simply being ‘viable for the long-term.’ She also raised issues surrounding intergenerational equity and how sustainability is a journey for many organisations, it doesn’t just happen overnight. 

For Centennial sustainability is now high on the agenda and they are implementing avenues to make the topic tangible for employees and stakeholders. 

Centennial is prioritising the topic amidst a number of pressures in the area, including the movement of investment and financial capital away from coal and fossil fuels. Both financing and re-financing are becoming increasingly difficult for coal mining companies. Along with this, major miners such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Anglo American have signalled a divestment from coal. The common theme surrounding these decisions is climate change. 

For their response Centennial is seeking to exploit opportunity through innovation. This includes decarbonising operations through the integration of solar and gas power. Their Airly mine is developing a 2MW solar plant that will be producing in Q2 2020, while the Mandalong operations are implementing a project to reuse mine drainage gas. The Awaba decommissioned site has been converted into an 85KW solar system using a modular array. 

Centennial are also focussed on reducing direct emissions, particularly in the ventilation space and air methane reduction. They are also working with bodies such as Coal 21 and Coal Innovation NSW to investigate geological sites for carbon capture and storage. 

Finally, there is an overall business transition for Centennial, who recently dropped ‘Coal’ from their name in line with their aim to become a mixed energy company that will adopt greener, smarter technologies. A lot of work for this transition is occurring at their recently established digital centre of excellence, which is adopting industry 4.0 technologies to improve sustainability outcomes. 

Austmine would like to thank Donna and Centennial for the fantastic presentation at our networking event.

Austmine's next Sydney event will be our METS Climate Change workshop on Friday 6th March. Register here

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