Energy solutions that reverse climate change are on the list of strategic differentiators that Sibanye-Stillwater has under scrutiny.
They envisaged involvement is at the grid storage end of energy solutions, where redox batteries, vanadium, and molten salt grid storage solutions that use antimony reside. The company’s focus remains on producing metals, but they do believe, over an extended period, that having some exposure to the downstream side of certain businesses is valuable and appropriate.
Also, in response to a question on the role Sibanye-Stillwater would play with other stakeholders to voice concern about illegal mining by Zama-Zamas, Froneman said the company had highlighted the illegal mining issue for many years and had incurred considerable expense in dealing with illegal mining, which had even led to the company having to close shafts prematurely.
Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is not a new concept. In fact, it has been part of many industry conversations for years, with some early movers seeing the need for change 10, 15, even 20 years ago. In more recent times the buzz-term ESG has come to be and there has been a growing need to integrate these commitments within central business functions due to the impact of climate change
The mining sector is facing one of the most transformative times in its history. Companies are presented with the opportunity to redefine and reorganize their businesses to create a more environmentally and socially responsible future for the industry. Therefore, to move from promise to action, mining companies must be set up to respond to ESG opportunity, challenges and risks which requires operating models that facilitate accountability, visibility and collaboration between departments along with a clear governance structure.
In some African countries with significant fossil fuels, public policy discussions around the energy transition have centred around perceived risks associated with the transition – undeveloped oil fields, stranded assets and untapped oil revenues. To respond to such concerns, Ghana set up the National Energy Transition Committee (NETC) in December 2021.
A multi-year review (2004-2019) of trends in mineral production shows limited government revenue generated from mining despite significant production volumes. Also, upstream oil and gas sector has generated more revenues (approximately USD 6 billion) than bauxite, gold and manganese.
There is a need to update mining laws, policies and practices and align them both economically (with well-defined industrial development strategy) and ecologically (with commitments to meeting climate targets). It can be noted that critical minerals strategy and action plan would be a tactical step in defining a pathway to optimize value creation in the critical minerals boom.
There might be some potential risks such as at the early stages of the value chain, the award of mining rights and contracts could become vulnerable. To address these risks, transparent and accountable governance systems need to be strengthened before new licenses for critical minerals are awarded. Furthermore, opening due diligence processes to check corporate ownership chains and other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) indicators can be helpful. Together with transparent processes, adequately funded government agencies can play a key role in improving access to data.
To sum up, Ghana’s nationwide consultation to develop a national energy transition policy is a positive step. The resulting policy will be insufficient without considering the opportunities and risks associated with critical minerals, and policymakers could draw on GHEITI’s annual disclosure. After all, a balance between energy, economic development and environment is crucial.
New research shows that the demand for equipment and technologies based on the 4th generation in the field of smart mining will grow by more than 10% annually. The data of the Transparency Market Research institute shows that mining groups’ investment in such technologies will grow by an average of 10.1% annually between 2021 and 2031, and most of the purchases have been focused on technologies based on connectivity and intelligent automation.
The results of this institute’s estimates show that in this time horizon, mining companies worldwide will invest in these products and solutions to continuously improve safety and strengthen real-time monitoring of equipment, all of which will help them to reach their optimum level. The use of data management and operation software has helped mining companies active in the intelligent mining market earn more income while optimizing the performance of equipment during work. At the same time, such solutions support preventive tool maintenance methods that ensure safer mining. The studies of TMR analysts, which are reflected in this study, show innovation in various parts and equipment, especially in the fields of drilling and crushing, automatic excavators and unloading devices, as well as tools that enable remote mining and exploration activities. which is more popular nowadays.
As I was doing a little bit of research about my dissertation, I came to a compelling topic which happens to be one of my main side interests along mining industry. The main topic was about health and safety in the mining industry. However, the specific focus was on the mental health of miners and workers in the mines.
I have come to realize that engineers and geologists are often unfamiliar with the concept of human behavior or at least make an effort to digitize it, and I have to say they have pushed the envelope! But the fact is that you cannot analyze every aspect of a human behavior by mathematics and codes, at least not now or in the near future!
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has done quite amazing job, setting a guideline regarding mental health of Australian miners.
“More than one in five Australian mining industry workers has experienced mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety in the past 12 months,” said Beyond Blue Chairman Jeff Kennett. “But sadly, too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health.”
The health of all mining industry employees involves not only physical but also psychological wellness. Mental health, drug use and misuse, smoking, and exhaustion are among the complicated concerns that affect mine workers, according to the Queensland Occupational Health Mining Advisory Committee. We must consider workplace dangers such as harassment and/or workplace bullying, work-related stress, work-related violence, and work-related exhaustion while managing mental health in any organization.
Sustainable development is the creation of a balance between development and the environment, and is composed of three important principles of environment, community and economy. All three of these parameters are related to each other and the imbalance in each will upset the balance in the other categories.
The interrelationship between mining and sustainable development requires one to do the other. On the one hand, the limited mineral resources, the possibility of their depletion and the concerns about their scarcity for future generations, and on the other hand, the social, economic and environmental problems caused by mining and regardless of the environment and surrounding communities resulted in sustainable development making its way to the mining sector as a need to protect natural, human and social capital.
Sustainable development – in a simple term – is defined as improving the quality of life, as well as the quality of life of future generations. In fact, sustainable development is the achievement of economic and social goals in such a way that resources are maintained in the long run, the environment is protected and human health and well-being are guaranteed.
Sustainable development, along with economic growth and human development in a society, seeks to study continuous development through simultaneous attention to the three categories of economic, social and environmental. Developed countries at the beginning of the development path were able to take the initial steps of development by relying on natural and mineral resources and extracting them. Over time, due to disregard for environmental issues and social consequences and a purely economic view of the issue, problems were created that gradually, paying attention to these issues along with the economic aspects of these activities, led to the issue and the concept of sustainable development.
Today, economic activities have consequences such as widespread environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources for future generations. Hence, it can be challenging to oppose sustainability goals. Mining as a widespread economic activity also has many positive and negative effects on humans and their environment. Expressing the positive effects of mining activities, we can point out that today, mineral resources are the core of human activities from construction, home appliances, industrial machinery and energy to advanced space technologies. Also, the mining industry plays an important role in economic development and improving the quality of human life by providing jobs and income. In addition to the positive effects of mineral extraction and processing, many environmental effects such as deforestation, surface and groundwater pollution, soil erosion, air pollution, loss of land and natural landscapes, climate change through energy consumption, etc. exist. Furthermore, along with the negative effects of mining activities in an area, we may mention its social consequences. For instance, falling mineral prices or the end of mining in an area can lead to unemployment and migration. Therefore, in order to protect the environment, control social consequences and create a dynamic economy, sustainable development has entered the mining sector.