ESG concerns may slow mine development for energy transition: Trafigura CEO – by Diana Kinch (S&P Global – June 15, 2021)

London — Policymakers are becoming increasingly aware that environmental, social and governance issues may stand in the way of development of new mine projects to feed the growing “green revolution,” Jeremy Weir, executive chairman and CEO of global commodities trader Trafigura, said June 15.

“Unless we address that, we’re going to have a serious problem,” Weir said in an interview session during the Financial Times Global Commodities Summit. “Metals intensity is going to be enormous as we construct the infrastructure for energy transition.”

Companies in Asia and increasingly in Europe are striving to source metals including copper and cobalt to meet demand for batteries for electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, the executive noted.

“If we want to electrify, we need copper and so we need to find a solution to the problem … we need to be far more efficient in developing new resources,” Weir said.

There has been a recent lack of investment in the mining sector and current high prices could be one incentive to boost supply and speeding up production availability, he indicated.

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