Cooperation on trends in mining, investment and innovation towards a sustainable future | So Good News
Sydney, Australia–(Newsfile Corp. – Oct. 31, 2022) – Tomorrow, global leaders will collaborate on trends in mining, investment and innovation for a sustainable future at the ICC International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney.
The three-day forum will explore the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing the sector’s entire value chain, with leading experts in their fields sharing their valuable knowledge, experience and insights with a record number of delegates from 108 countries.
Ahead of the conference’s opening, industry experts will be sharing trends to collaborate on at Australia’s largest and most important mining industry conference and exhibition.
PURE ZERO MOUNTAIN
Decarbonization is the biggest challenge facing industry today, which has historically been heavily dependent on fossil fuels, not only as a resource, but also as the primary fuel that supports many of its operations.
Given the ever-growing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, Amber Big, managing partner of Warm Springs Consulting, says mining companies and other emitters may face more scrutiny before decarbonisation really takes off.
“Money always talks; even as regulators move slowly in efforts to curb emissions, shareholders are impatient. A shift to sustainable operations can help ease public pressure, build trust, reduce oversight, and in turn improve. Ultimately, shareholders demand it. Investors mining companies are being pressured to take responsibility.
With environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies rising as a focus for many businesses around the world, the entire mining value chain is struggling to transform.”
Ms Big adds: “It’s not just the big mining companies that are taking action. According to the 2020 White & Case survey of mining companies, more than 26% of respondents said ESG policies would be a top priority for the mining sector More than 12% said that addressing climate change would be a top priority.
“Combined, ESG and climate change response become top priorities for mining companies. This makes sense given the mining sector’s unique vulnerability to climate change in terms of financial, stakeholder concerns and physical infrastructure risk.”
MITE RECYCLING AND DISPOSAL
In keeping with their commitment to sustainability, mining and resource operators are now looking years—sometimes decades—into the future, trying to rehabilitate or repurpose mine sites.
Simon Ball, a planning and environmental specialist and partner at MinterEllison, says the sites can take many forms and have long been used to grow crops, create new reservoirs and create underground scientific research centres.
He says, “Repurposing is important because it usually defines the legacy of an organization that has been operating in an area for years, even decades. When done well, repurposing allows that legacy to be enjoyed by local communities and others. stakeholders, whether in the form of social benefits such as provision of lakes for their activities or economically productive land use such as agriculture or pumped water.
Mr. Ball notes that these sites, if properly planned, can have an incredibly positive and meaningful impact with stakeholder and community involvement.
“Stable post-mining sustainable land use re-planning begins with consideration and planning from the earliest stages of mine planning. It is also an iterative activity that continues throughout the mining life cycle, adapting as additional information, such as community expectations, successful re- another important step in facilitating use is early engagement with all stakeholders to obtain their input as part of a thorough post-mining land use consultation process,” he says.
One of the most talked about trends in the mining industry is the key to addressing these challenges facing the sector at an unprecedented crossroads.
Austmine chairman Dallas Wilkinson says he sees the most exciting potential for electrification, with increasingly advanced technologies leading to incredible advances and innovation across the value chain.
“We now see an opportunity to make a difference as an industry in 100 years, when combined with aspects of data that lead us to AI and work differently through automation, robotics and digitization. In addition, electrification is a trigger point for other trends,” says Mr Wilkinson.
“It has the potential to impact the future of many, many generations. I think that’s really the tipping point for us. It’s moving from classic diesel-type situations to electrification. It’s going from almost control to full social control. And decarbonization is driving that as we know it.”
The journey to electrification and the innovation that comes with it is being accelerated by cross-industry collaborations with once closed sectors now working alongside technological advances.
Mr Wilkinson said: “We are now seeing an interesting intersection of many different technologies. You see organizations in the METS sector working in mining, military, space and agriculture, all using the same advances in technology to benefit all these industries.”
INVESTMENTS IN THE FUTURE AND PRECIOUS MINERALS
Most of this technology will lead to sustainable operations, mining will grow significantly to obtain sufficient quantities for the future and the essential minerals needed for a greener future.
This has seen many investors and businesses abandon coal – a necessary energy source right now but unlikely to be a long-term tool.
IMARC Conference Director Sherene Asnasius has worked closely with businesses across the mining value chain for several years and says there has been a significant shift in conversation ahead of this year’s forum compared to past events.
“Everybody in the industry knows that the investment in and use of coal is not going to go away overnight. It’s not just an on-and-off thing. I think the question is how do you balance the transition from coal to the future. Important minerals.”
According to Ms. Asnasius, an increased focus on future-use and essential minerals was a key topic of conversation at the SW Pre-IMARC Energy & Resources Industry Lunch.
“The key decision was that the most profitable investment in the short term is not necessarily where the money will come from in the long term, so investors should turn and invest in future projects that are long-term and sustainable. – innovative environmental strategies used not only for the types of materials produced, but also for the exploitation of deposits, the transportation of minerals and the extraction of raw materials around the world.
IMARC offers investors a key opportunity to connect with businesses that are making significant changes to their operations, but many conversations and collaborations are required.
“These intentions, strategies and commitments are all well and good, but they cannot be implemented in silos. There needs to be a concerted collaboration across the industry and with government, the mining community and investors to address all the challenges facing the sector.”
WORKFORCE AND CULTURE
None of these challenges can be properly addressed without a skilled and sustainable workforce across the mining value chain – a challenge that threatened to devastate the sector before the pandemic hit.
Debbie Smith, PWC’s national mining leader, points to a lack of new graduates, along with significant growth in competitive industries, as the main reason for the shortage.
“If you look at the number of mining engineers graduating from Australian universities 10 years ago, it was about 250. If you look at how many mining engineers graduated in 2020, it was 100.
“You’ve had a huge investment in infrastructure, so a lot of the skills you need in big construction projects are the skills you need on the mine sites. So you have workers who are working now. They have a choice of being in the mine or working on a construction project in the metropolitan area.”
Ms Smith says the mining industry needs to find creative solutions to this crisis, one of which could include rethinking the efficiency of FIFO mines.
“During COVID, the concept that everyone has to be on-site has been challenged. There’s been a question of how much can be done in regional hubs or from people’s homes, and to protect those essential workers on-site, of course, it’s been determined that more people are forced to work remotely,” he says.
“I think they need to look at whether FIFO is an attractive proposition going forward, or whether they need to invest more in vibrant regional cities and communities that make it easier not only for workers, but also for their families.” “
“Also, the government has a role to play in working with the industry to ensure they make the right investments in regional mining communities. Having communities that are reliant on single mine operations and not diversified is an opportunity to think about.”
The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) brings together global mining industry leaders to collaborate on trends in mining, investment and innovation towards a sustainable future. As Australia’s largest mining industry event, it brings together over 7,500 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 100 countries over three days of training, deals and brings together an unparalleled network. IMARC was developed in collaboration with founding partners the Australian State Government of Victoria, Osmin, the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and Mines and Mines.
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