Changing with the Climate: Perspectives from the Mining Industry

Manage and mitigate climate change risk by developing and implementing effective strategies meeting regulatory requirements

By Tony Rex, Philippa Burmeister

Miners are responding to evolving standards on sustainability and climate change action and communicating their progress to their investors, regulators, customers and relevant communities. Decarbonisation is currently dominating miners’ discourse on climate action but adaption in response to physical risks are equally important.

Decarbonisation now features in the strategies of mining companies, influencing acquisitions and divestments, as well choices of exploration targets, project stage-gate decisions, investments in existing operations and closure planning. Many mining companies have committed to achieving net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050 and have set ambitious mid-term targets. Today’s investors want to know how the strategies will meet these targets and how they are accounted for in annual reports and financial models.

Engineering of climate adaptation solutions requires a site-level focus and a multi-disciplinary set of skills. The spotlight on climate adaptation risk is expected to increase; it will no longer only be framed from the perspective of physical risks and financial consequences, but also in terms of impacts on humans and ecosystems. Standards and legislation relevant to mine design and closure planning are steadily introducing requirements for the prediction of changing conditions in response to climate change, both during the life of a mine and post closure.

This is particularly relevant to infrastructure such as dams and mine waste facilities. For example, climate change is identified as a key consideration in the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.

All these elements of the climate change agenda are relevant to the mining industry which is currently experiencing many positive developments. SRK is supporting and advising our clients through what is a complex interplay of technical, financial and business factors, not to mention perception and market reputation ones.

Deep, global cross-discipline experience across every aspect of mine evaluation and development allows meaningful and pragmatic contribution to the challenges of climate change.


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