Our Keelan Mooney writes in a series of blog posts exploring how mining will play its part in the race for a carbon-neutral world. He will look at how mining is changing and the challenges for both the mining sector and the insurance world. In this first chapter, Keelan will explore the future of mining and the loss adjuster’s role.
In the crucial need to achieve carbon reduction targets, mining is pivotal to success by providing state-of-the-art methods in the extraction and processing of minerals used in green technologies. While the race to reduce the carbon footprint continues, governments and the industry have acknowledged that in a world more cognizant of sustainable development and human rights, geopolitical risks are a large obstacle, and major changes are required to balance the need for access to minerals and the effects these have on local civilizations. In today’s technocentric world, mining remains a core to ensure the economical and successful extraction of minerals, and supply to manufacturers.
With the fast-evolving need to meet renewable energy demands, mining plays a direct role in the success of the transition away from fossil fuels. Mineral reserves and land areas are becoming increasingly challenging to find and less economical to mine with historical methods and technologies. Energy storage relies on minerals such as graphite, lithium, and nickel, for example, which have a direct impact on solar and wind power storage, and the transition to electric fuel. Without these minerals, regardless of the intent to reach carbon reduction goals, reaching targets set for society is not possible as the output of some minerals is required to increase as much as 500%.
Therefore, mining companies have introduced or are introducing innovations to improve their social, governance, and environmental impacts:
- Green technologies such as electric vehicles
- Artificial intelligence in digital twins and virtual reality
- Self / remote operating equipment to reduce safety concerns
- Modular mining concepts with smaller and fewer permanent structures
- Sustainable tailings dam techniques and designs
In the continued need for evolution, new mining methods such as seabed mining are also being studied. As a loss adjuster servicing the mining industry, we provide a connection between technical risks and insurance concerns; whether it involves the adaptation to new technologies currently deployed, alignment with regulations or completely novel technologies. Further, we can manage and assess risk and technological developments from an insurance policy standpoint, placing us in a unique position in this booming industry.
With the uptake in precious metals and mineral resources to drive and supply technologies and greener energy of today, sustainable, smart mining is critical for the future to be able to increase the amount of mineral extraction and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint of the mining industry itself. Mining will therefore play a vital role in the success of carbon reduction.
Keelan Mooney, EIT | Loss Adjuster
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