These important factors strongly position Australian resource companies to meet the increasing demands and opportunities that we are seeing unfold with the global energy transition.
Australian commodities are drawing unprecedented attention and there is an increased strategic focus on critical minerals, with manufacturers seeking to shore up their security of supply.
With that opportunity, comes the need to focus on the sustainable development of these resources with a holistic view of the value that can be created, not just economically, but also in delivering benefits to the environment, communities and culture.
Such a whole of value chain perspective extends post-mining where our industry can create enduring value for the regions that they work in and communities that they work with.
The United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)* seek to ‘build a greener, fairer and better world’ with mining companies and sustainable mineral resource development set to play important roles in meeting the challenges of delivering on the goals.
Investors, and indeed broader communities, are placing increasing demands on our companies to go the extra mile, beyond local compliance commitments, in order to win social and community support for developments and for their ongoing operations.
None more so than with the global push for emission reduction, where whole value chains form scope 1 through to scope 3, requiring us to find new solutions that can deliver progress as we seek to achieve Net Zero.
In this issue of Resourceful, we look at the emissions reduction challenge and share how we are working to support the readiness of Australian iron ores for the production of net-zero emission steel (a value chain that is currently a significant contributor to emissions).
We also have a feature on one of our new ‘future science platforms’ that will develop new science and engineering in the field of permanent carbon locking, exploring how we can enhance natural processes to accelerate the removal of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
Other articles in this issue capture some of our activities and collaborations that are tackling the challenges of greater Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and working to create that more holistic value-based ecosystem.
The transformation of the minerals sector that comes with this focus on ESG performance, requires innovative new science and technology as well as a deeper focus on community and cultural engagement.
This in turn provides for operating models and decision trees within industry that will increasingly seek to capture the measures of ‘value’ that can come from such innovations being employed.
As Australia’s national science agency, we play a trusted advisor role to community, industry and government by providing applied and high-quality science and technology solutions for the problems that stand in the way of achieving truly sustainable resource development and mining operations, and being able to measure the sustainability that is achieved.
Australia’s resources are well positioned to deliver to the global energy transition, if we can achieve sustainable development through science and technology, we will continue to lead the world as a resources powerhouse – delivering real impact through science!
*UN SDG ref: https://www.globalgoals.org/goals/