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Rio Tinto, Anglo American invest in World Bank Climate-Smart Mining Facility

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Rio Tinto and Anglo American are amongst several companies, countries and institutions which have invested in the World Bank’s new Climate-Smart Mining Facility, the first-ever fund dedicated to making mining for minerals climate-smart and sustainable.
The World Bank's new Climate-Smart Mining Facility will have a particular focus on supporting mineral-rich developing nations.
The facility will support the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar, power, and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles. It will focus on helping resource-rich developing countries benefit from the increasing demand for minerals and metals, while ensuring the mining sector is managed in a way that minimises its environmental and climate footprint.

The genesis for the facility lies in a recent World Bank report The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future which found that a low-carbon future will be significantly more mineral intensive than a business as usual scenario. Global demand for ‘strategic minerals’ such as lithium, graphite and nickel will skyrocket by 965%, 383% and 108% respectively by 2050. While the growing demand for minerals and metals offers an opportunity for mineral-rich developing countries, it also represents a challenge: without climate-smart mining practices, the negative impacts from mining activities will increase, affecting vulnerable communities and the environment.

Projects that the facility may pursue include:

  • Supporting the integration of renewable energy into mining operations, given that the mining sector accounts for up to 11 percent of global energy use and that mining operations in remote areas often rely on diesel or coal.

  • Supporting the strategic use of geological data for a better understanding of “strategic mineral” endowments.

  • Forest-smart mining: preventing deforestation and supporting sustainable land-use practices; repurposing mine sites.

  • Recycling of minerals: supporting developing countries to take a circular economy approach and reuse minerals in a way that respects the environment.
  • The energy transition to a low-carbon economy will increase demand for minerals and metals therefore it is crucial they are extracted in an environmentally friendly way.
    Commenting on the launch of the Climate-Smart Mining Facility, Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the World Bank, said:

    “The World Bank supports a low-carbon transition where mining is climate-smart and value chains are sustainable and green. Developing countries can play a leading role in this transition: developing strategic minerals in a way that respects communities, ecosystems and the environment. Countries with strategic minerals have a real opportunity to benefit from the global shift to clean energy”.

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