Resourcing Tomorrow: A fireside chat between Adam Matthews and Dr Rory Sullivan

Adam Matthews, Chair of the Global Investor Commission on Mining 2030, and Dr Rory Sullivan, Project Director, Mining 2030 Secretariat and CEO, Chronos Sustainability, hosted a fireside chat at Resourcing Tomorrow, Europe’s largest mining event dedicated to accelerating the energy transition. The event brings together change makers from the mining and resources industry to discuss and debate the big questions facing the sector, and ways to answer them.

Adam and Rory sat down to discuss the progress the Commission has made since it launched in September 2023, as well as what it hopes to achieve before 2030. Please find the video below, as well as a written Q+A of the discussion.

What is the Global Investor Commission on Mining 2030? And what is it trying to achieve? 

From cars to computers, mining resources are essential for modern society. Achieving the low-carbon transition will require an increased supply of metals and minerals. However, the good practice in today’s mining sector can also be undermined by a series of systemic social and environmental issues, such as poor management of tailings waste and high emissions levels.

The Commission is a collaborative investor-led initiative, seeking to define a vision for a socially and environmentally responsible mining sector by 2030. It aims to harness the influence of the finance sector to develop sector-wide standards and encourage best practices.

Bringing together multi-stakeholder perspectives, the Commission is focused on ensuring investors understand the future demand for mining, the systemic issues that may challenge the sector, and the steps they can take to support a vision for a socially and environmentally responsible mining sector.

What evidence does the Commission have that this initiative will make real change? 

Our experience with tailings has demonstrated what can be achieved. Following the Brumadinho Tragedy of 2019, investors adopted a collaborative, sector-wide approach, partnering with organisations like the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the UN to develop the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). While there is still work to do in this area, it’s highly encouraging that over half of the listed mining firms by market value are now committed to GISTM.

Through defining best practices, we have seen companies voluntarily adopt the standard with investor support, pushing regulators to enforce the standard.

The Commission continues to carry forward these lessons, emphasising the importance of a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach, and applying them to address broader ESG challenges within the mining sector.

What are the initial objectives and/or priorities for the Commission? 

Firstly, we want to help bring a deeper knowledge of the mining sector to investors. This involves highlighting its critical role in facilitating the low-carbon transition and broader economic growth, especially given mining is typically underweighted in ESG-conscious investment portfolios.

The second part is increasing understanding, and promotion of, best practices to manage challenges the sector faces, including water and biodiversity management. As investors, we must reassess our investment approaches in mining, ensuring that we incentivise the right behaviours and provide long-term stability for the sector to fulfil its requirements.

Finally, one of the priorities for our work is to explore the relationship between extraction and conflict. The Commission must define the role investors can play in supporting mining companies to uphold best practices in the communities they serve to allow companies and communities to flourish. 

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