Professor Davide Elmo has Linkedin letter published in The Economist

deansfacultyaward 2023 davide

Two recent articles in the Economist (Leaders – Let Them Dig; Business – In a Hole) paint contrasting portraits of the mining industry, reflecting two divergent perspectives. Mining companies do lament that their proposed operations cannot enter production because of regulatory barriers. At the same time, these obstacles may offer convenient excuses to explain their reluctance to invest.

However, let’s not forget that large mining operations are large financial speculations focused on mineral assets rather than mineral production. The emphasis of major mining firms remains fixed on accessing sizable deposits, even when their grades are notably low. Such large, low-grade deposits necessitate substantial infrastructural and capital investments, generating significant waste in the form of large tailing storage facilities. Consequently, these projects become mired in intricate permitting processes.

What is needed is a paradigm shift towards embracing the concept that responsible mining extends beyond environmental and social considerations. Instead, it entails adopting a new corporate vision prioritizing production over asset speculation. What if the future of mining pivoted towards smaller, more manageable deposits rather than a handful of massive ones?

Link to letter here