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Climate-Smart Mining

German Launch of the Study: The Renewable Power of the Mine

Presentation of juwi AG

03.07.2019 |

Almost all modern technologies needed for our standard of living and prosperity depend on the provision of primary raw materials such as minerals and metals. This applies in particular to the technologies of the global energy and mobility transition and defines crucially the role of the commodity sector in the fight against climatic change and the achievement of the Paris agreement. Copper for power lines, lithium and cobalt for e-car batteries and iron ore for steel in wind turbines are just a few examples.

Significant growth rates are forecast for these "green" technologies over the next few years and decades, worldwide. This in turn means that mining activities will increase. Especially in countries with weak, well-regulated commodity sector regulation, this is often associated with social and environmental problems. In order to avoid the risk of a conflict of objectives (green technologies at the cost of environmental destruction and human rights violations), climate-smart mining is needed that, among other things, manages to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

One possibility to do so is the increased use of renewable energies during the exploration phase and the subsequent mining. To discuss this possibility, representatives of politics, economics, science and civil society met in Berlin on July 2nd for the publication of the German version of the study "The Renewable Power of the Mine".

In addition to the lead author Nicolas Maennling of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), representatives of the German companies juwi AG and CRONIMET Mining Power Solutions presented two practical examples, as they have already successfully implemented renewable energy in mining projects in South Africa and Australia.

At the beginning of the event, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), stressed the developmental relevance of the topic in supporting our partner countries. Following the presentations, the author and the company representatives met a variety of questions from the audience during a panel discussion.

In addition to possible financing risks, the discussions also revolved around the basic energy supply for surrounding communities, which to date have proved difficult due to a lack of regulation. Lack of regulation has also been criticized in relation to the property issue of renewable energy plants after the end of mining activities. The state could set incentives here through clear legislation, and thereby for example address the first mover problem.

The original English-language study was translated into German and Spanish due to the great interest in its performance at events in Toronto, London and Norway.

For further information, please contact Tim Schlösser.

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