Anglo American embraces sustainability
Mark Cutifani, the chief executive at Anglo American plc, told the 7 000 delegates at the Investing in Mining Indaba held in Cape Town that the mining industry’s immediate challenge was to do things differently to find new, safer, more sustainable and cost-effective ways.
“We are still seen as an industry that takes more than it gives, even though we drive 45percent of the world's economic activity, whether directly or indirectly - while disturbing a small fraction of the earth’s surface.
“None of us here today is oblivious to the criticism that is levelled at us. Daily, we have to manage the perception that mining is not worth the disruption it brings to a community,” said Cutifani.
Earlier this month, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, which manages $7trillion (R104.8trln), said it was putting climate change at the centre of its investment strategy. It said it would exit investments that present a high sustainability-related risk.
Cutifani said the industry needed to ask itself some tough but necessary questions about its values.
“Simply put: we need to connect the future of mining with emerging and next-generation societal values. These are the values of increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity - all of which are emergent in our world and are shaping a very different future society,” said Cutifani.
He said that mining had a long-term role in shaping the energy transition, but going into this transition, the industry needed to ensure that mining was “climate-smart” with ideally no or little negative climate impact.
“In Anglo American’s case, our portfolio of world-class assets producing the right metals and minerals of the right quality to power a cleaner future, coupled with our approach to both technology and sustainability in its full sense, set us apart,” said Cutifani.
Earlier yesterday, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said the department was working with Anglo American on using hydro-fuel cells as an energy source for the mining trucks.
Mantashe said that the intention was to replace diesel usage with hydro-fuel cell technology.
“This is a major and innovative project that will have a significant impact on low carbon emissions and cost effectiveness,” Mantashe said.