Adapting to a changing climate
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Adapting to a changing climate. John Drexhage, Director, ICMM June 2013 , London Inaugural Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining Fellows Breakfast Club. Outline. A changing climate in context Emerging drivers for adaptation

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Adapting to a changing climate

John Drexhage, Director, ICMM

June 2013, London

Inaugural Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining Fellows Breakfast Club

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Outline

  • A changing climate in context

  • Emerging drivers for adaptation

  • Implications of a changing climate on the mining and metals sector

  • Adapting to a changing climate

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A changing climate in context – climate change and sustainable development

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A changing climate in context – a changing climate and the mining and metals sector

Relies on large, fixed assets with long design lifetimes

Requires climate-sensitive inputs: water, energy, land, people

Dependent on global supply chains

Operates in challenging geographies and climates

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A changing climate in context – what is mining’s contribution to land and water use?

Land use (Australia) [1]

Consumptive water use [2,3,4,5]

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Emerging drivers for adaptation

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Implications of climate change for the mining and metals sector

Climate-sensitive inputs: Water, energy, people

Supply chains: transport routes, infrastructure, access to markets

Markets: demand for goods and services, competition

Exploration & construction: access to new reserves, site design, building codes, minesite water balance

Operations: equip. performance and operating thresholds, workforce health and safety, stability of impoundments, disruptions

Closure & post-closure: Long term environmental monitoring, rehabilitation

Source: [6]

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Implications of climate change – a framework for evaluating risks

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Implications of climate change –arid or water-stressed environments

  • Risk of:

  • Insufficient water supply for operations

  • Reduced availability and reliability of electricity

  • Challenges in post-closure rehabilitation and water quality management

Sources: [11,12]

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Implications of climate change –arid or water-stressed environments

  • Quillagua and Copiapó in Antofagasta and Atacama, northern Chile;

  • Mining operations face risks from increased conflict over water rights, regulatory changes;

  • Responding by sourcing raw seawater, increasing reuse & recycling, engagement with stakeholders.

Source: [11]

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Implications of climate change –tropical climates

  • Workforce impacts from heat stress and more frequent periods of extreme heat;

  • Changes in the spread of vector-borne diseases;

  • Indirect impacts from low level of resilience in vulnerable communities;

  • Impacts on biodiversity, species extinction.

Source: [18]

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Implications of climate change –tropical climates

  • Boane, Mozambique

  • High infection rates (~85%), health impacts to workforce and local community

  • Malaria control programs dropped infection rates to below 20%

  • Motivated by workforce and community safety

  • Have increased resilience to malaria within the region

Sources: [15,16, 17]

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Implications of climate change – coastal areas and regions likely to become wetter

Sources: [13,14]

  • Potential for:

  • Coastal flood damage;

  • Changes in minesite water balance;

  • Changes in timing or flow of receiving bodies.

  • Impacts on:

  • Capacity to handle heavy rainfall & flooding;

  • Stability of open pit highwalls, tailing storage ponds, embankments;

  • Long-term water quality.

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Implications of climate change – coastal areas and regions likely to become wetter

  • Minto Mine, Central Yukon

  • In 2008, 2009: “two 100-year water events in a row”

  • Shut down extraction, emergency releases to Yukon River

  • $2.5M water treatment plant, upgrades to diversion channels

Credit: Capstone Mining Corp. http://capstonemining.com/s/Gallery_Minto.asp

  • Queensland, Australia

  • Heavy flooding in 2010, 2011

  • 3- to 6-week rail closures

  • 12-week disruption on West Moreton Line

Credit: Oprel 2010. http://www.oprel.co/gallery/queensland-flood-damage/8373137

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Adapting to a changing climate – a framework for adaptation

Adapted from [7,8,9,10,11]

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Adapting to a changing climate – what is being done

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Adapting to a changing climate – what is being done

Credit: Vale, BHP Billiton

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Conclusions

  • The mining and metals industry is exposed to climate risks.

  • It is also very experienced at managing risk.

  • Mining companies are already taking action on adaptation.

  • Strategies must further incorporate climate change into existing risk management and planning activities.

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Conclusions (2)

  • External expectations for climate risk management are changing.

  • Specifically, the demand for anticipating and reporting on risks is increasing.

  • Adaptation offers opportunities to engage on broader, complementary sustainable development benefits.

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