OPINION: Mining companies need to look at new ways to reduce biodiversity impacts – by Tom Drabble (Benchmark Minerals.com – May 22, 2023)


Critical mineral deposits crucial to the clean energy transition can be found across the globe. As mining companies cannot control where geological deposits form, they are forced to tackle whatever challenges are present in the location of which they are found. One of the largest challenges within the environmental “E” of ESG is how to prevent biodiversity loss due to company operations.

It is crucial that biodiversity is considered and appropriately monitored at all stages, from acquisition through to mine closure and rehabilitation. Strategies for biodiversity management of a mine site should begin with an environmental impact assessment and mitigation strategies and targets set.

Mining operations that neglect their local environment can have serious adverse impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems due to habitat destruction and pollution. Tracking biodiversity impacts is vital to minimising them. Benchmark’s Nickel ESG report finds that in jurisdictions where no net loss of biodiversity is a legal requirement, 60% of nickel refiners track their biodiversity, compared to less than a fifth where it is not.

The importance of biodiversity

Biodiversity encompasses all of the living life on earth including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. The relationship between biodiversity, climate, and water should be seen as a closely interlinked nexus, where the neglect of one has serious impacts on the others, resulting in ecological degradation.

For the rest of this column: https://source.benchmarkminerals.com/article/opinion-mining-companies-need-to-look-at-new-ways-to-reduce-biodiversity-impacts