Canadian Mining Journal


SUSTAINABILITY: World Bank’s supports climate-smart mining

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The World Bank has launched its new Climate-Smart Mining Facility, the first fund dedicated to making mining more sustainable and to reducing its impact on the climate. Funds will be available to support the mining and processing of metals used in clean energy technologies.

Climate-Smart Mining is a trust fund that will focus on resource rich developing countries, helping them to benefit from the global demand for low carbon,  strategic minerals. The total investment will be US$50 million to be deployed over five years.

The World Bank expects the fund to support several types of projects:

  • The integration of renewable energy into mining operations;
  • The use of geological data for a better understanding of “strategic mineral” endowments;
  • The prevention of deforestation and creation of sustainable land use practices;
  • The recycling of minerals and support for developing countries that want to be part of the circular economy; and
  • Assistance for governments that want to build a robust policy, regulatory and legal framework that supports climate-smart mining.

The Climate-Smart Mining fund is supported thus far by Rio Tinto, Anglo American and the German government.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said, “The transition to clean energy solutions presents both a significant opportunity and responsibility for the mining industry, as it provides the materials that make these technologies possible.”

Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American, said, “To have real impact we must work together with governments and operators to bring changes. That is why we are supporting the World Bank with this facility, to provide funds that can transform our industry for the future.”

While this news is positive for the mineral industry, not everyone thinks the World Bank’s initiative is sufficient. Earthworks – representing 50 green organizations – sent the World Bank a letter voicing their concerns. They would like to see much more emphasis on recycling, reuse, substitution and consumption changes before considering new mining operations.

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