LONDON (Reuters) – “Society expects more of our industry.” That was the stark warning from Jean-Sebastien Jacques, head of one of the world’s largest mining companies, Rio Tinto, in a keynote speech at last week’s London Metal Exchange Week.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind we will face greater regulation and scrutiny,” Jacques went on to say. The scrutiny has already begun. The next day environmental protesters disrupted the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne, leading to multiple arrests and a draconian threat by Australia’s prime minister to ban future anti-mining demonstrations.
Half way around the world, protesters were blocking access roads to SQM’s lithium operations high in Chile’s Atacama Desert in a rumbling dispute over water rights. Here writ small is the industrial metals industry’s big problem. Continue Reading →