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A mine for all seasons: adapting to the threats of climate change

The increasingly erratic nature and intensity of weather events is challenging miners' traditional operating models.

A mine for all seasons: adapting to the threats of climate change


Scope three emissions obligations

For Brian Innes, partner - energy transition at Partners in Performance, the issue isn’t just about delays, but about supplier and offtake challenges miners will need to adapt to as climate change progresses. These concerns are covered by scope three in emissions accounting, which covers the most tenuous of carbon connections to a business and stretches across the product lifecycle and supply chain.

“There are some physical risks that come with climate change, including sea-level rise, changing vegetation, changes in rainfall patterns,” he said. “For the physical mine itself, these risks are generally pretty manageable. The risks that are less manageable are about what's happening up and down the supply chain.

“Scope three emissions, which involve questions like ‘are people going to want my product?’, present more of the material risk that some of the commodities we work with are struggling with.” “Metals producers are looking to make their product greener, says Brian’s colleague Inga von Fircks, partner - energy transition at Partners in Performance.

“They’re getting pressure from buyers who want to ensure their scope three emissions and upwards are greener and cleaner. “If you look at it on a project basis, there are likely going to be more projects with more demand for the non-fossil-fuel projects. “If miners are digging out metals rather than fossil fuels, they can actually do that in a very green and sustainable way, which can help them overcome some of the operational risks due to climate change and severe weather patterns,” von Fircks continued.

“The amount of hydrogen we have got to produce to green these products is immense, so there’s a whole lot of new projects coming online,” said Innes. “Australia has quite a bit of momentum here, from our resources base and the people who are playing in this space.”


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