The mining industry is one of conflicting identities. Mining firms can add tremendous value to the resource-rich countries where their mines operate but also to their shareholders. Further, the industry extracts and ferries to the market many of the raw materials that are crucial to industrial and economic progress around the world, creating a magnifying effect to its added value to global GDP. However, the nature of mining activity itself—extracting and processing metals and minerals for commercial use—produces a substantial portion of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and as such burdens those same beneficiaries of firm value with externalized, unaccounted for, costs. This makes the industry a significant opportunity for broad-based climate improvement in an era where, with the global adoption of the Paris Climate Accords, the world has placed renewed emphasis on mitigating the effects of climate change while keeping the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
This report is part of a more comprehensive study intended to investigate the potential for leveraging the mining industry to drive the uptake of climate-sensitive technologies and practices in emerging and developing markets. The study includes four background reports—Methodology and Value Chain Analysis, Mining Firms’ Climate-Sensitive Initiatives, Climate Sensitive Mining: Case Studies (this report), and Policy Approaches to Climate Change in Mineral Rich Countries—and an overview report on Building Resilience: A Green Growth Framework for Mobilizing Mining Investment.
This report is intended to deliver an account of mining technologies, processes, and strategies that seek to incorporate new, green technologies that have the potential to diversify local and national economies where the mine operates. This report is not intended to provide an ordered ranking of industry trends, mine sites, or the companies engaged in these operations. An analysis of that nature would likely not produce a sufficiently diverse set of case studies to provide an industry-wide perspective. As a result, in selecting the case studies the report prioritizes comprehensiveness and diversity.