Miner Rio Tinto and Corona Canada are piloting a low-carbon beer can produced using carbon-free smelting technology, meaning drinkers can enjoy it without pangs of 'eco-guilt'.

Rio said the cans will be completely traceable from mine-to-market, with QR codes printed on them to see exactly how they were made including sustainability data.

Some 1.2 million cans are being created as part of the pilot. They will feature Rio Tinto's low-carbon aluminium - made with renewable hydropower - and metal produced using the direct greenhouse gas emissions free ELYSIS smelting technology.

Rio Tinto's Head of Sales and Marketing Tolga Egrilmezer said: "Leveraging insights from START, we look forward to putting more information into the hands of consumers, so they can see how we are partnering with leading brands like Corona to help deliver more sustainable supply chains and products. These specially-marked, low carbon beverage cans will showcase the responsibly produced aluminium Rio Tinto delivers, bringing together renewable hydropower and the innovation of zero carbon ELYSIS smelting technology."

This launch builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2020 between Rio Tinto and Corona Canada's parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), to work with supply chain partners to bring AB InBev products to market in cans made from aluminium that meets industry-leading sustainability standards.

Corona Canada's Marketing Vice President Andrew Oosterhuis said: "As a brand, Corona believes we have a responsibility to be an ally to our environment, recognizing that change needs to start within our own production lines as a tangible way we can help protect paradise and reach our ambitious sustainability goals. By continuing to introduce market-leading technologies in the beverage space, we're leading by example for other companies and their suppliers to innovate and drive meaningful change for our environment."

This article first appeared in sister publication Mining Magazine on 1 July 2022. Credit: Craig Guthrie.