Anglo’s Cutifani stresses the need for sustainable mining – by Simone Liedtke ( – February 3, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Despite mining’s contribution to almost every aspect of modern life, the industry is still seen as an industry “that takes more than it gives”, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani lamented in his keynote address at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is taking place in Cape Town, this week.

He highlighted that the mining industry – which contributes to, besides others, food production, construction materials, transport, clean energy and communication solutions – drives 45% of the world’s economic activity, whether directly or indirectly, while disturbing only a small fraction of the earth’s surface.

However, with criticism still being directed at the industry, Cutifani on Monday told delegates at the Indaba that the mining industry needed to face the challenge of finding “new, safer, more sustainable and cost-effective ways” to supply the essential raw materials needed for a rapidly growing and urbanising global population.

The global population is expected to reach 9.5-billion people by 2050. “If we are going to continue to play an instrumental role in powering human progress into the future, we need to ask ourselves some tough, but necessary, questions about our values as an industry,” he said.

Simply put, Cutifani suggested that the future of mining be connected with emerging and next-generation societal values, which included increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, and sustainability and shared prosperity.

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