The availability of risk capital for miners is biased towards those with concrete plans for achieving net-zero emissions targets by 2030, says Keith Russell, global director for energy transition, purpose and performance with Partners in Performance.
Russell emphasizes the need for decarbonization strategies to become mainstream and incorporated into the industry’s routine management, operating and governance systems.
“I think there’s an element where this has been top-down driven. In other words, boards and CEOs are responding to market and stakeholder pressure, and therefore making sure that the organization’s stated targets are aligned accordingly,” Russell explained in an interview with The Northern Miner.
“We need to ensure those targets are incorporated into the normal business processes. Site managers would become more accountable for preventable site emissions, and via measured, consistent reporting, these initiatives should get incorporated into the investment decision process as companies look at undertaking sustaining capital projects,” Russell said.
He further explained that the decarbonization trend has been visible in the mining industry for many years, first taking hold to reduce input costs. Energy is a significant input into the cost profile of a mining operation, whether it’s the cost of diesel for power or the cost of an ore-haul trip.
“External investor pressure, the community pressures, government regulation, the Paris Accord – all of these forces are coming together, making the C-suite recognize they need to commit to decarbonize,” Russell said.
With 2030 probably the most unified target the mining industry has ever taken on, Russell believes it is already “well on its way” to achieving the goal of net zero.