Mining Ireland: sourcing for sustainability – by Daniel Brightmore (Mining Global – October 7, 2019)

The Mining Ireland conference will examine the scale of Ireland’s mineral potential, mining and mineral exploration projects, and the role Irish companies play in global markets.

The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (IMQS), in collaboration with Geoscience Ireland, will host the Mining Ireland conference in Dublin on October 8. “If it is not grown, it is mined – a much-used adage, but one that still holds true.

With the Paris Agreement 2016 and the Government of Ireland Climate Action Plan 2019, we are transitioning toward greener energy sources, many of which are dependent on the metals, and it is our responsibility to extract minerals in the most environmentally sustainable way possible,” stated the IMQS ahead of the conference.

The production of electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines will require a host of base metals and rare earth metals. The World Bank Group (WBG) reports that a 3MW wind turbine alone requires 4.7 tonnes of copper, 3 tons of aluminium, 2 tons of rare earths (85% of global supply is produced by China) and 335 tons of steel.

Demand for resources to develop our social and civil infrastructure, including towns, cities, ports and transport networks (the contribution of zinc in protecting steel from corrosion is essential for the sustainability of our civil networks), and the tools we consider essential to daily life, including mobile phones, batteries and even silverware, continues to grow.

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