The roundtable recognised both the opportunities and challenges faced by the mining industry, and called for a sector wide approach to tackle the climate transition and related systemic issues that threaten the role it must play. Building on the lessons learned by terrible disasters such as the Brumadinho tailings dam collapse, the initiative is intended to work together with various stakeholders to develop a vision and agenda for change to be achieved by 2030.
The agenda is focussed on eight issues some of which have established action already being taken, and some with ideas needed to aide the industry in its transition: resources for the transition; deep sea mining; biodiversity and land use; mine tailings waste and site closure; climate change; automation and future workforce; Indigenous rights; and artisanal mining and child labour.
The first investor roundtable heard from global authorities from the World Bank, International Energy Agency and Benchmark Minerals on the minerals and metals needed for the climate transition and how this can be met.
The investor initiative will run for a year to determine and agree key interventions that can be taken to work practically with the mining industry to address each issue in turn. Some interventions will require, as work led by the Church of England Pensions Board has done on tailings, the creation of new global standards, whilst other interventions will support new standards or creation of institutions to track what happens at individual mine sites around the world.
One area the first roundtable looked at is the mineral needs for batteries in a sector like autos. Major commitments are being made by governments and car companies to increase production and take up of electric vehicles. However, it was clear that many car companies and governments have not undertaken the feasibility of how they can meet the commitments and that the key metals are available for the batteries. If poorly managed this has enormous potential consequences for meeting global net zero objectives.
The roundtable heard from:
- Adam Matthews, Chair of Mining 2030 and Chief Responsible Investor, Church of England Pensions Board
- Sven Renner, Program Manager of the Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, World Bank
- Caspar Rawles, Chief Data Officer (CDO), Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
- Tae-Yoon Kim, Senior Energy Analyst, International Energy Agency (IEA)
- John Howchin, Global Ambassador for the Mining & Tailings Safety Initiative and former Secretary General of the Council on Ethics of the Swedish AP Funds