The mining industry is promoting a growing number of metals as green. The label is popping up everywhere: on the landing pages of company websites, in speeches from mining executives at conferences, and in pitch meetings with investors.
“Every nickel project is now green, every copper project is green,” said Doug Pollitt, analyst with Pollitt & Co. “The resource sector is making the most out of this.”
The green moniker, which implies the metals and mining methods are environmentally friendly, is generating fierce debate. Some call it appropriate, given the growing end use of minerals such as lithium, cobalt and graphite in alternative energy.
Others, factoring in the full life cycle of metals from the ground to the customer, deem the framing deceptive and misleading. “A lot of marketing fluff,” is what Mr. Pollitt calls it.
The green theme is being driven by the rage for environmentally and socially responsible investments, which experts say has put pressure on miners to improve their environmental footprints.
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