SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it will join a World Bank initiative intended to help developing countries sustainably mine lithium, cobalt and other minerals critical to the global electrification trend.
Rio’s participation in the program, known as Climate-Smart Mining and set to launch in May, comes as miners face increasing pressure from investors and non-governmental organizations to make supply chains more sustainable while reducing climate impact.
The program “will innovate and deploy financing specifically designed to manage the clean energy transition – responsibly, pragmatically and sustainably,” Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s head of copper and diamonds, said in a Tuesday speech at CRU’s World Copper Conference in Santiago.
“Significant challenges will likely emerge if the climate-driven clean energy transition is not managed sustainably,” according to a World Bank presentation.
Rio plans to offer technical consulting advice, as well as contribute $1 million over five years to the program, according to a spokesman, joining efforts by the World Bank to raise $50 million from the private sector.