January 13, 2022

Key Challenges Facing the Global Mining Industry

Roger Baxter (Minerals Council South Africa); Mark Bristow (Barrick Gold Corporation), Natascha Viljoen (Anglo American Platinum), Martin Horgan (Centamin), and Paul Fisher (LBMA).

This week’s webinar is a release of the fourth session from our recent LBMA/LPPM Virtual Precious Metals Conference, held in September 2021. Moderated by Roger Baxter (Minerals Council South Africa), this panel featured the highly anticipated keynote address from Mark Bristow (Barrick Gold Corporation) followed by an interactive panel discussion that included Mark as well as Natascha Viljoen (Anglo American Platinum), Martin Horgan (Centamin), and Paul Fisher (LBMA).

Mark Bristow began his keynote presentation by stating that “mining is, by its very nature, a challenging business,” before adding that many people “find and operate (mines) in challenging jurisdictions with poorly developed infrastructure.” Mark went on to discuss how mining drives economic development through embracing ESG principles and exploring technologies of the future before concluding with a commendation to his peers for their adaptation to the continuously changing environment.

Natascha Viljoen agreed with Mark about the importance of maintaining sustainability within the mining industry and highlighted the continuous issues that the industry faces, listing the declining resource base and a continuous fight for water and energy. Natascha remarked that “over the last number of years, we have seen an increase in societal expectation.”

Martin Horgan outlined how COVID-19 has impacted local communities and emphasised the responsibilities that mining companies have to support governments and stakeholders. He said that mining industries are “able to use our position of financial robustness and strength to benefit broader society, whether that’s through the provision of testing and support to local medical services, through to education.”

Finally, Paul Fisher rounded off the discussion by focussing on the social issues arising from the Responsible Mining Principles. Paul said: “we can expect to see the social side of ESG picking up pace going forward.” To follow that up, he recommends the importance of demonstrating the implementation of the responsible mining principles.

Overall, the sentiment throughout this panel was how paramount responsible sourcing and ESG is in not just the mining industry, but also how imperative it is to support the rest of the supply chain. Click the link below to watch the full webinar.

To read more about how responsible sourcing will be developed over the coming years, see LBMA’s recent Responsible Sourcing Report here.