Artisanal mining is a key sustainability challenge. But it's importance goes beyond this. The solutions found can also help sustainability professionals as they look to address the wider issues around mining. It's important to recognise that to create the materials required for the sustainability transitions, we are going to need a lot of mining. So we want to make the impact of this as positive as we can. This is not just a moral issue, it's also a big financial one for the mining industry and for the companies they supply. It's another place where sustainability professionals can also make a positive financial contribution.
In this blog, we consider what efforts have already been made, and what we can learn from them as we move forward. As always with the guest blogs from Rob Karpati of The Blended Capital Group, we separate our views (as sustainability finance people), from his perspective (as someone who knows what he is talking about on this topic). Rob will be following up on this blog with more detailed deep dives into some cases studies.
Why should we care about sustainable mining?
The sustainability transitions are going to require minerals. In some cases a lot of minerals. As we highlighted in a recent Quick Insight, The IEA estimates that, to be on track for net zero by 2050, the mining industry will need to spend some US$360-450 billion between now and 2030. This compares with anticipated capex of c. US$180-220 billion. So, a roughly US$180 billion shortfall, or c. US$23 billion pa. And the biggest shortfalls (by US$ capex requirement) are for copper and nickel.