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Mining companies with strong Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) performance are in a position to reap the benefits of the competitive advantages ESG can deliver, including commanding higher prices for materials.

Our roundtable of leading industry thinkers examines some of the key trends and initiatives that are pulling industrial minerals mining towards a more sustainable future, the drivers behind them, and how companies can harness the power of technology and data to propel them down the path towards high performance in ESG, more sustainable operations, and a certain future.


1 hr 5 min

Download the full Industrial Minerals ESG Insight Paper

we examine the key trends and initiatives pulling industrial minerals mining towards a more sustainable future

Video Transcript

<v ->With a particular focus</v>

on the Industrial Minerals Sector

of Mining.

Clearly the adoption of ESG policies is increasingly

important to the global investment community stakeholders

in society.

So, but to what extent are ESG policies

actually being implemented?

Where are they today in practice

and how does this affect different parts of mining?

Particularly as I said, industrial minerals,

are there different parts of ESG that are more

or less important?

So today we’re going to sort of focus around four themes.

The first is what is the reality of ESG in industrial

minerals today?

How serious is it?

And number two,

why did companies who score highly on ESG

seemed to outperform the market?

Thirdly would explore right,

and high technology and data can contribute to ESG.

And finally, we’ll have a little look at standards.

So very grateful to be joined today by this August panel.

I’ll just do a quick round table introduction.

So first of all, or welcome to Craig Guthrie,

who is the editor of mining magazine

with the focus on Europe, middle east and Africa,

Craig, good morning and welcome.

<v ->We’re in Colin,</v>

<v ->Let Carrol who has worked for a long time in this area,</v>

focus on as managing director and applied intelligence

mining lead at Accenture with over 20 years ago.

So, Liv good morning and welcome.

Dr. Colin Church, team we’re going to put the doctor in front

of Colin otherwise we’ll get confused with this Colin.

So Colin I believe you’ve done a lot of work

for government and policies

worked for the C R I W M professional body for resources

and waste management.

Currently, you’re the CEO of industrial

sorry the Institute of minerals,

materials and mining

that was in the wrong order, excuse me,

Rainer Westermann,

who is a group geology and mining director

for Lhoist based in Belgium.

Leah Wilson,

who’s got a background in engineering construction

is currently group sustainability vice president

at Emeris in Paris.

And then from secret, we’re joined by James Edwards.

Who’s a geologist with plenty of field experience

and is now moved to the dark side here in sequence

few years ago, with a particular focus on the industrial

minerals sector around Europe,

middle Eastern Africa.

And finally Dr. Thomas Krome,

who is in Denmark despite the accent

and Thomas looks after our environmental segment

slash vertical from a global perspective.

So, it’s open to you all.

Tiny bit of housekeeping,

this session is being recorded.

So just be aware of that,

the mute unmute button, so please, obviously,

as you will respect people who are speaking

and if there’s any background noise dogs, cats,

doorbells, please, please go on mute.

But of course, remember when you’re speaking to unmute

and behind the curtain, we have Jess and Claire

keeping everything going.

So any glitches whatsoever, just put your hand up

and I’m sure they will dive in and sort of that.

So if we’re all sat comfortably coffee in hand,

we will begin.

So first question for the panel today,

ESG has been on the agenda for a long time.

Why are we still talking about it today

and what has caused the heightened focus?

and Colin, if I could go to you first

for your perspective.

<v ->Sure, I guess there,</v>

are a bunch of different things that have come together,

from my perspective as to why we’re still talking

about it, perhaps more at the moment than, other times.

First of all, I think it’s been highlighted

by some of the unfortunate errors

that have triggered interest in this.

I mean, everyday dam failure would be an absolute classic

of course,

but there have been a number of other things

in the recent past, either environmental or for example,

some incidents in Australia around sacred sites.

And I think that’s really raised the profile

beyond the mining industry of the importance,

of worrying about these things.

And I think that’s one element of it.

I think a second element is people are just about starting

to recognize beyond again, the mining industry,

how absolutely fundamental mining and extractive industries

are not only to the current society,

but also the society that we’re all aiming towards

a low carbon and reasonable source efficiency, oddly

the amounts of minerals and metals,

we’re going to have to extract in order to deliver

the technology that’s going to deliver us

that low carbon and resource efficient society

is massive and people don’t want it to be done in a bad way.

You know, if you are VM and Liv

if you were a member of extinction rebellion, for example,

and you think that we really need to make these move,

you don’t want to do it at the cost of child labor

in one country or serious environments damaged

somewhere else.

So I think some incidents and in that general concern,

growing concern and awareness of the importance

of the role of mining and how it links

into the, the future gender.

Those were the two that I would highlight.

<v ->Thank you very much indeed for that goal.</v>

And so if I could follow that one up then,

so with those two points, really in mind,

the you know, sort of clearly there’s been accidents

and things that have highlighted it

and the importance of mining to the future,

if I could go right into sort of Rainer or Leah

from your perspective,

how does that play out into your particular area?

And what I’m interested in is,

has that led to a renewed focus

and has that led to resourcing implications around roles,

for example Claire perhaps?

<v ->Sure, no.</v>

I definitely think that,

those two points highlighted,

have contributed to

a shift in the way and the importance

in the perception of ESG within our company.

I think there’s maybe a third element I would add

is just generally growing expectation from customers

and local authorities.

That mean that we also need to continue to improve

and adapt.

And I think that

companies have really realized,

and again, as you already mentioned, you know,

there’s a long history of understanding

that our operations need to be managed in a certain way,

but companies have realized that there’s,

an important differentiation factor in terms of risk

management and in terms of also commercial management

so that they need to have the ESG elements fully embedded

into their processes.

And if you want to fully embed all of these ESG considerations

into your processes yeah,

that does mean a shift in, in the way you’re,

you’re staffing them.

If it’s not a nice to have,

and it’s more of a must have,

then you need to have the teams with the competencies

to manage it.

And that means sometimes competencies or partnerships

on subject where maybe we were not sufficiently staffed

in the past.

I think for example, management of biodiversity,

it’s a different set of skills and expertise

and scientific knowledge that we wouldn’t necessarily,

you know, 20 years ago had on staff.

So that impacts your environmental teams

being able to perform life cycle assessments.

That’s a different competency that again,

we may not have had in the past,

but we need to equip ourselves to have.

So as each one of these ESG themes is put forward

more into the agenda,

it definitely affect how we integrated into our processes

and how we staff our central and or our business functions

or our teams on site to address them.

<v ->Yeah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

We’re going to come back to that point

in a second, but Craig,

I’d just like to sort of flick round to yourself

from your perspective as the journalist on the panel.

What’s your,

what’s your reading of how the perception

across the industry has changed

over the recent couple of years?

Is it a threat or is it actually an opportunity?

<v ->I would say it’s evolved from a threat to an opportunity.</v>

I think truly ESG has moved on from being

just about say investor pressure,

which is what it was born out of, perhaps at the start,

but now companies are starting to tackle it

in operationalization of the, the processes

that they need to take on at a very highest level.

I think for me as a journalist,

I see ESG becoming as big a part of the value chain

I’ll say processing or exploration.

And I think this field is only going to grow.

I think the key thing as call it a lidded too,

is avoiding perhaps gaining a terminal image

when that’s been associated with fossil fuels

and getting the message out there to people

that we really are going to be an essential part

of the transition.

<v ->Great.</v>

Thank you very much, indeed.

And sort of,

Liv how can sort of circle back round to yourself

from your perspective where you sit with Accenture,

what’s your sort of view on where ESG is today,

right opportunity and why it’s so important

and just, what are you picking up from your perspective?

<v ->Well,</v>

it’s said to go back to the drivers

and Craig just mentioned the investor pressure.

One, I would certainly add is that the impetus

to bring ESG into all elements of the business.

And if we could umbrella that almost as sustainability

woven throughout, has certainly come from increased pressure

and action taken by the institution investors.

And that’s really been in the last 24, 36 months

that we have seen a significant increase in that.

And that is one of the key drivers as to why

the mining companies have,

mineral companies have really started to embrace this.

How about going back to your question,

how that plays out in the,

every piece of work we do with our clients,

whether it’s a strategy around autonomous operations

or solving for a specific issue in a mining operation,

there’s an element of sustainability and an ESG involved,

and that’s actually factored into the design of processes

as well as the solutions themselves to enable it.

It’s really all about enabling the right data capture

that then generates the necessary insights

for you to pull these leavers to positively impact ESG.

And our clients certainly are,

are not seeing it as a threat

they’re wholly embracing it to Leah’s point

about the consumer push or consumer pull, really

the consumers are much more aware

of sustainability.

They want mining products to come from sources

that are not infringing on human rights

that are mined sustainably with renewable energies.

And that is then,

we are seeing our clients

embrace that as an opportunity

because there’s as Leah thing also mentioned,

there’s a differentiator there that’s possible.

If you are capturing the right data,

you can prove the provenance and you can demonstrate

that your products are meeting ESG

appropriately ESG standards or green and sustainable.

<v ->Lev thanks you very much, indeed.</v>

I’m sure this could be a days conversation

in and of itself,

thank you very much for those points.

I think there’s quite a few that we will come back

to and pick up.

We’ll move on now to the second question,

if we may,

and this really is around business performance

or getting into the sort of, you know,

rubber hits the road here, what’s the actual impact.

So looking at industrial minerals,

the nature of industrial minerals means that more often

there no quarries and operations are closer to urban areas,

does this place a bigger or lesser emphasis

on certain elements or ESG

and their importance to the business?

And Rainer you’ll forgive me if I sort of start off

with you on that one.

<v ->Okay, I hope I understood everything well.</v>

So looking specifically at our minds,

I think these aspects

are born because we simply don’t see the acceptance anymore

in the population to expand our operations

or even to make refills.

It’s almost impossible.

We are operating across the globe

about 60 to 70 mining operations.

And when I look at the recent years, greenfield,

were started in the U S and that’s much easier

than in Europe and in Europe, we are in central Europe

we were able to do that

when we go to countries like Germany or France or Belgium,

these things are

simply not accepted by the people

So the focus on this on sustainability

and we cluster,

we organizers in three pillars,

what we call people, planet and profit

and the pillar covering the mines

is on the planet.


there we have a specific focus on resource valorization,

and this is,

this is not completely new to us

because we are a family owned company.

But definitely,

we had a high focus on listings.

And the way we mentioned across the group

is that we are,

that we are using the know how we,

we collected in some regions specifically in Western Europe,

that we try to spread it out in the other regions

by creating a subtle organization,

which is looking at this aspect.

<v ->At Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

So I think the short answer is, yes,

this is very important

for them.
<v ->It is.</v>


<v ->And if I could pick up on one point,</v>

so you mentioned about a central organization

to ensure that your best practice.

So are you now employing roles today,

particularly, and specifically for ESG projects

and work that you wouldn’t have done five, 10 years?

<v ->Yes, of course.</v>

Yeah, we have since a few years,

sustainability officer in our company

and he’s, the center of this organization.

And when I say centralize organization,

it means, in fact, it’s some metrics.

So we are using the resources from each of the regions

we have to, for these topics across the group.

<v ->Rainer thank you very much, indeed.</v>

So on that point then if we sort of take that back to points

made before by Craig and Colin and others.

So do you now see,

as the company that you’re with,

do you see ESG as a source of advantage business advantage?

Does it differentiate you from competitors?

Does it help you appeal to investors and communities

and stakeholders?

Is it a source of business advantage?

<v ->Do you want any one of us to take that</v>

or do you have the one in.

<v ->Okay just go ahead.</v>

Yes, actually, yes.

Leah, please.

<v ->I don’t mind it.</v>

I think, yes,

I think there are multiple studies that, you know,

that demonstrate that there are commercial advantages

for well managing a range of ESG topics,

be it from, you know, even the diversity angle

or any of the environmental angles.

And I think there are several reasons for that.

I think even if we are,

the panelists are making a very clear point

that it’s moving from a threat to an opportunity,

clearly managing ESG topics still enables

you to anticipate and better manage risks.

And in some cases growing risks.

So understanding that you need to have,

a very forward looking

and robust management of risks,

for example, you know, climate scenario analysis.

So you can anticipate that and integrate

it into your business.

It brings some commercial advantages,

I think, without a doubt,

there’s some reputational benefits associated

with that to speak to the point of, you know,

we have a challenge of not in my backyard

kind of situation ,

we find ourselves in and being able to demonstrate

that you have a strong, solid

and reputation,

and being able to engage with your local communities,

your local stakeholders, and be able to prove

what you do has has definite

sort of commercial benefits.

I think it’s a very important lever for engagement

with our employees.

They want to be proud for, you know,

the companies that they they work in.

And I think that it’s very linked also to innovation.

I mean, being able to drive your organization

towards solving existing challenges

through an ESG lens

is definitely a way to demonstrate the leadership,

and differentiate ourselves from others.

So to make the short answer, yes.

<v ->A raft of benefits, actually,</v>

there are probably in a, sort of, as much about reputation

as much about employee engagement

actually, and you mentioned innovation as well.

So actually this is driving fresh thinking, use solutions,

new ways of doing things.

And Liv if I could go around to you on,

on that point from again,

from your broad perspective in Accenture,

how do you see these,

the importance of the business performance panning out

is the other,

some areas more its reputation and attracting stakeholders

more important than the end consumer,

or are you seeing the advantages that Leah

has talked about being broadly ubiquitous across

all the different groups?

<v ->That’s a really interesting question.</v>

And what we have seen is a distinct shift

across the industry, no matter what the commodity,

a distinct shift from focusing on delivering value

to shareholders, to delivering value for all stakeholders

and all stakeholders is now a ginormous,

all encompassing group of people

that includes the Leah rightly mentioned.

I was pleased to hear you say about employees

actually wanting to work for a company

that is extracting mineral responsibly.

And that is super critical to attracting the right skills

to the industry that we need going forward.

And one of the main drivers of how,

just how important has become is the generational change

and the younger generations actually being less,

I’ll try and put this kind of less interested in mining

and less respectful of the importance of mining,

and really wanting to work for companies

that are responsibly carrying out business

and the younger generations will certainly call out

companies if they feel they’re not behaving responsibly,

they’re not shy of doing that.

They’ve grown up as digital natives.

So they’re very vocal on social media.

So that’s a really key stakeholder

that has to be factored in because the mining industry,

the minerals industry,

is already suffering from a skill shortage.

And that will only grow as we need to expand

the skills range, including new things

like data scientists and data engineers,

AI specialists, et cetera,

more biodiversity specialists,

more climate change specialists,

but they I’ve forgotten exactly what the question was,

but the, the how it,


in terms of.


<v ->The engagement is critical.</v>

And, and ESG is a core part of why we need to engage

with the stakeholders,

that there were so many business advantages,

because there are so many negatives

if we don’t get it right as an industry.

Now, if you can’t,

you don’t have an effective ESG or sustainability program

with clear actions that you are then proving

that you are walking the talk, not just putting,

these great plans, but actually nothing ever happens.

You have to be able to prove that you have achieved that

then your cost of capital is going to go up.

if you don’t,

if you aren’t operating in the right way

and not seem to be responsible,

you won’t attract the right skillset.

If you aren’t effectively engaging with your stakeholders,

your community stakeholders,

and that’s a two way engagement.

So that’s really shifted from the mining company

or minerals company, informing the local stakeholders

to actually working in collaboration

with the local stakeholders.

So if you aren’t doing that,

you’re going to come up against a lot of resistance

and difficulties in developing and running your operation

so that there are, and then of course,

you’ve got the governments and the NGOs

and all the other stakeholders that need to be engaged

with the,

there are lots of benefits to engaging appropriately

with stakeholders and weaving ESG throughout the business.

<v ->Thank you very much.</v>

Sorry if the question is a little bit vague,

but I think you answered it and very fully,

so thank you very much,

some really interesting points coming out now.

So I’m calling Dr. Kohler.

She said, otherwise, we’ll get confused

if I could take that back to yourself again,

from your perspective, from where you said,

I’m interested in a couple of things.

So I think Leah and Rainer and Liv

have made the point that this is now pretty ubiquitous.

It covers stakeholders at the investor side,

it’s now covers in employees.

It covers your reputation to customers, and it’s everywhere.

Do you see any pockets of resistance?

Have you, are you,

are there any parts of the industry

which are further ahead or lagging behind?

Do you see any resistance to any of the,

or is what’s been spoken about

not just ubiquitous across the stakeholders,

but ubiquitous in implementation

by industry wide

or are there some laggards?

<v ->Yeah, so I think just before I do that,</v>

I just want to add to everything you said before,

which I completely agree with,

but there is another thing that I think is worth

bearing in mind, a lot of studies in the UK,

just not in mining, but just generally looking

at the performance of companies

have noticed a really strong correlation between performance

on health and safety, environmental rules and profitability.

And I think there’s another point

which underpins everything.

If you’re good at managing your company,

you’re good at managing your company for ESG,

for health and safety and for profit.

And I think, that’s why in many respects

for an investor looking at ESG, it’s a good marker.

If you’re successful at ESG,

you’re probably a well managed company.

In terms of outs and such like,

I think you can look at things

like the responsible mining foundations,

RMI the index, looking at individual assets, for example,

and get a sense there of companies.

I think the picture is mixed.

Don’t think I’m going to make a bit of an assertion,

but I don’t think there’s a clear cut difference

between privately held and publicly held

dodging mining companies.

But the caveat on that is,

of course we don’t have as much data about the privately

held companies.

So I have to be a bit cautious in saying that

and some of them are really good

and some of them are not so good.

And I think the same would be true

of mid-size and (indistinct) for, I think,

where there’s a real problem.

And you might absolutely understand why is in art design

on small mining where basically

they just don’t have my point earlier.

They don’t have the management capacity

to think about some of these issues.

It’s not, they don’t necessarily want to,

it’s just, they haven’t got the capacity to do it.

And so I think one of the huge challenges for the sector

as a whole is how do we get those organizations up

to a minimum standard?

And I think that’s a huge challenge

that we all really ought to be working on coming.

I mean, I’m a chief executive of a membership organization,

so I’m going to say this onsite,

but I think one of the absolutely key elements

of that is the standard of professionalism

of individuals working in those spaces

because professional mining engineers,

and all the rest of it,

we talked about working all of those companies,

big, middle and small.

They are in a sense, a common theme.

And the more that we can do to make sure

that they have the professional competencies

necessary to act in this space, the more that will help.

<v ->Thank you very much, indeed.</v>

Rainer if I could circle, sorry.

Rainer do you want to.

<v ->Yes, I just would like to comment on Colin’s staples.</v>

As I mentioned,

I worked for a private company and where I don’t agree,

you know, I’m a specialist for,

I’m heading geology and mining team

since almost three decades now.

And I think what is the difference?

And I experienced that when I hired

experts from other business, is that sustainability.

So the long-term aspect was always and focus.

We have minimizing waste.

So we already talked 20 years ago about a zero waste

concept in our company.

And then it simply because,

we try to utilize the reserves as good as we can.

We don’t like to downgrade the use of our stone.

For example,

if we can make a chemical product out of a stone,

we don’t want to make aggregates out of it

because it doesn’t make the profit.

So a lot of these elements I think are driven

by the fact that we are family owned

and the family wants to secure the company

for the next generations.

That’s the way they are thinking.

For example when we make plans, long-term migrants,

we never look at a net present value is for example,

like in other companies


an aspect what is difficult for us in all the discussion

is a time factor.

Because as you know, in our business,

we are huge CO2 producer.

It’s due to our process we have in place.

And, I look at our planet pillar,

one of the challenge we have is to lower the ambitions.

That simply requires a lot of technology,

which is not available today.

And so, our research department is working on that together

with university that’s on,

but it needs time to get that under control,

to reduce infected CO2 emissions.

That’s what we want to,

it’s the same as energy.

Energy is a little bit simpler for us because,

there are a big sources,

of alternative green energies for processes,

but it’s also a bit depending

where we are in which countries we are in,

in Brazil, it’s coming already,

since he has to operate part of our clans with sword,

what is not possible in other,

or in Spain, we do that,

was the rays,

from the olive oil production

we can operate cancer.

So we have this kind of things,

but it’s a long process and these are challenges

I would this and this will cost a lot of money,

the investments,

to reduce the CO2.

And this is the STA problem according to this,

also going, maybe in,

what you mentioned

is I asked myself and we had the biggest

live producer of the world,

but I asked myself if small family producers

can handle this in the future.

I think it will change the structure of our industry.

<v ->Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

A lot of really good points.

They’re very interesting.

Can I come back to you,

on two quick points


two questions,

as you are, where you are and you go where you go

and you have all these investments, et cetera,

going back to the employee question.

What is your experience of hiring employees

in this current world?

Are they upfront with their questions

about your foreman’s

about your ESG plans?

Are they tuned into that?

But surprisingly a lot or a little, what was the sort of,

what are you detecting from bringing new talent

into the business and where are on that awareness spectrum?

<v ->I’ll take it from my part.</v>

Yeah, absolutely tuned into that.

And maybe going back to the part of what Colin

and we both Colin’s sort of, alluded to,

I think it’s a bit heterogynous.

I think that we have also has Liv mentioned

that a generational factor, but not only that,

certainly people who are starting off their careers

in various functions

are asking, the HR teams during the interview,

a lot more questions about ESG topics.

We see that,

through the interview feedback

and also through the request of the HR teams,

to be more trained on how to respond to all

of these types of questions that they weren’t seeing

in the past.

But I do think there’s a different element

from country to country.

There are certain countries that I think that the topic

of sustainability or VAGD is a little bit more

on the forefront.

And that influences, I think the types of questions

we see in interviews

and I think it also the job market, you know,

how tight the job market is and how much competition

there is for a label sort of changes

the demands that a potential employee will put on in,

in the recruitment process.

But that, I think also speaks to your former question

as well, Colin, about, you know,

different levels of maturity and gaps.

I think that we have different countries

and different markets where sustainability,

has a stronger pole.

And I think that that affects it in many ways,

both in terms of standards and performance

and the legislations, but also in terms

of the future and current employees

in engagement and sort of expectations

on in terms of sustainability.

<v ->Yeah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

Thank you all very much for that.

that’s another huge topic that we literally scratched the

surface on, but I’ve read some really interesting points

Come out.

We’re going to flip gears slightly now,

but picking up on some of the points mentioned,

we’ll move into sort of technology now in digital

data was mentioned right at the start.

So let’s pick the spotlight on digital

and Rainer thank you very much for the perfect segue.

Digital transformation takes time to yield results.

How do you see the industry building the case

for significant investments, digital technology,

whatever it is,

and where the immediate payback NPVIRR

is not there.

And Rainer the very obvious place to go is yourself,

but I’m going to pause for that for a second.

If I actually just flip around to sequent now,

and I actually asked them just to sort of perhaps change,

you’d like to lead off on that question,

because I think it would be very nice to sort of flip back

to the point Rainer made earlier, but first and foremost,

James, what’s your perspective on that from sequence

vantage point?

<v ->Thanks, Colin.</v>

Yeah, I think, I mean,

digital transformation is always an interesting,

conversation to have I think,

but one of the angles to look at maybe as to why digital

transformation projects can become so expensive

in the first place and why you see delays

in these things being implemented.

And I think sometimes it might be the added complexity

of trying to develop custom solutions.

Other times it could be because the foundations

of good data management have kind of been skipped

over in the urgency to get to that new

kind of big shiny solution.

And I think it’s becoming more incumbent

on software providers,

such as sequence to work with industry partners,

to share that burden of innovation.

And we need to kind of help de-risk

that value proposition of change.

So, you know, the primary role of safe for leaders

such as Emeris the industry is to extract the resources,

to keep the global economy moving whilst also respecting

their responsibilities to the environment in the communities

they serve.

So again, it’s, we, as that support and industry

need to be developing the that support that goal.

And we need to ensure that where there is investments

being made it’s in those proven technologies.

You know, I suppose, to build the case,

if you have to build a case for significant investment

where the usual measures of value, don’t initially stand up,

we need to build that trust.

We need to be able to trust and develop a culture

that kind of embraces that change through

probably through the successful execution of initiatives

that present, I suppose, what you could call easy wins.

And I think there’s still plenty of opportunities

out there in the current environment

that fit this criteria, where,

you know, you can, there’s the low hanging fruit,

if you will.

And you know, the majority of those, again,

revolve around a focus on great data management

and reducing that uncertainty in the business.

And I’ll see from a geology groups perspective,

but, you know,

where’s the greatest uncertainty in any minus supply chain.

And it’s always at the front end of that resource,

the uncertainty and a resource.

If you can reduce it,

there is going to add the greatest value

to the rest of your minus supply chain.

So obviously in our role is quite interesting

because we get to see a lot of different customers

that we work with.

And we consistently see that huge benefit that customers

are gaining through maximizing the value of the information

they collect.

Now, whether that’s improving security, access speed,

or clarity of data,

having those robust solutions in place

that data at the center of any conversation

will always lead to a better result.

So, I mean, we’ve got examples from case studies.

We’ve done a recent one with wholesome

where they demonstrated how better use of their resource

data led to from an environmental benefit

led to a reduction in waste material by 150,000 tons a year

and on to operate and savings over $3 million a year.

And it’s, I think it’s those kinds of successes

that we can then use to develop further business cases

or simply provide confidence that further innovation

and development where the payback

is probably not as immediately clear,

and it will, then hold true for where a dollar value

is not the primary motivation.

So if you take the example again,

from a geography perspective of being able to minimize

contaminant material before it ends up in the plant,

or somewhere on waste dumps, you know,

efficient management of that material significantly

reduces the risk of future liabilities

for companies, communities, environment.

But if we can’t, you know, if we can’t measure,

monitor and track that material, which all requires again,

robust data management,

then we’re not going to be able to prove

the ongoing benefit.

So yeah, I guess in summary,

like software providers need to continue to step up

and support industry partners.

You know, we need to continue to develop the solutions

that are in line with their business needs.

I mean, it’s to make the case for larger investment

in innovation and change by demonstrating the value

of getting the basic things right.

And we need that robust data management in place

so we can measure and articulate the value

of those initiatives that may evolve over years.

<v ->James, thank you very much in that.</v>

I’m going to pick up particularly on, that data point.

So, you know, clearly digital transformation

in as an electrical, you know, sort of trucks,

you know, sort of really renewed olive oil

power you’re focusing on the area that you’ve mentioned

about the data and the core analysis of that data.

Rainer if I could come to yourself,

how do you approach

the investments

where it’s not based on NPV,

what is the culture?

What have you had to change in your business

to be able to make those longer term investments

in the areas that James has been talking about

where the traditional IRR and NVP business case

is out the window,

what have you had to change within your business

to be able to do that?

<v ->Well, at first,</v>

this is really an interesting question.

I personally, I believe in the benefits,

of the digitalization and I say believe

because I also struggle to prove it.

And that’s really an, it’s an issue

also in our company,

because when I asked

for capital,

I have to show the case

even if we are long-term minded, we have to do that.

And what we did,

what I did like three years ago,

I started to analyze one of our mining operational,

what data are available.

And the result of that is what we have a lot of data.

And I think James knows that,

in a weak point of

is the data hosting.

So the data are not sitting on one platform

or in one system.

So it’s not available to everybody,

that’s why we are trying to find a platform

where we can integrate the data.

And we don’t want to replace all our systems.

That would be a huge project,

but we would like to integrate the data

so that it is visible maybe in one dashboard or so,

which could be modified to the function

of who’s using the dashboard.

That’s what we believe.

That’s the next step.

After this analyze, we looked at the gaps we have,

and we are trying now to fill the gaps in data gathering.

And this is where we were,

where it requires some investments

that this is not for free.

And that’s where the that’s my current discussion

with the management,

if we should spend money in this field or not.

But I, again, I personally believe in it

because looking at the general trends in the industry,

all the companies made money with their data.

And wait, I think I strongly believe

that we have to utilize our data in a better way

to what James we’re stating.

And this fits also, I think,

in this discussion that the knowledge,

of the depth of the detail knowledge,

and I think it’s a foundation,

to manage the deposit in a sustainable way.

What I told you that we try to minimize waste,

and we only can minimize waste when we know

where do we have a potential to blend

where and what’s, the best sequencing in the mine plan,

to enable us to blend and these things.

And for that I think

we need it this is a basis,

but this is already existing

since in most of our operations,

not everywhere, but most of our operation.

<v ->Rainer thank you very much indeed.</v>

Let me see if I can come around to yourself.

So you look after clearly, not just across mining,

but can you have a broader back to the cross environment

perhaps lends itself to a little bit,

bit of a longer term investment profile,

and that’s sort of what we’re looking at.


James what’s your perspective in digital transformation

in regard to the conversation?

<v ->I think that both James and Rainer</v>

or point out the biggest challenge

and that is the access to the information, right?

It’s becoming easier and easier to collect the information

and all the customers we talk to in every segment,

you know, be it mining or infrastructure or environment

are getting inundated in data today.

But the data inevitably sits in different systems

and architectures and places and platforms

and all of those right.

And as a software provider, they own this on us and our,

and our colleague businesses to become less siloed

and only, you know, walled gardens.

I use the analogy, walled gardens a lot, right.

We need to move away from walled gardens

and to open data standards

and processes so that it isn’t, you know,

a new for, you know,

chromed project,

every time some company needs a system, right.

That you can, you know, pick an old windows added,

you know, it’s plug and play.


And I see the industry,

unfortunately slowly moving in that direction.

You know, they’re not all software vendors

are like sequence and believe in a very open environment.

But, you know, my view is that, you know,

our industry needs to be better at providing open systems

so that it makes it easier for everyone to get access

to data because it facilitates many things.

You know, it facilitates that an operator

of a bucket loader at a site can actually see

after the blast,

which material is which right.

You can do that today.

And it facilitates that all the different stakeholders

can get a better insight and comment on, you know,

on a proposed mine expansion.


It’s all of those things that it can facilitate

if all those hurdles in between, on the data connectivity

are you know, either lowered or removed.

<v ->Thank you very much indeed.</v>

I’m going to flick Rainer or Craig, from your perspective,

sitting in a sort of, you know,

looking in this industry,

what is your perspective on the digital transformation

paradigm across the industry?

How are you seeing, what are you picking up?

Is it ubiquitous?

Is it helping have people embraced it

or is there still hesitation?

<v ->Well, I think,</v>

as Rainer alluded

to it can be seen as,

as a moonshot really sometimes when you’re,

tackling processes and technologies

that have been in place for decades.

But I think that if you look for example,

at how the power of battery has evolved,

just even in the past five years,

they couldn’t power anything 10 years ago.

And we look for what can be achieved by technology.

I think that it’s really important that perhaps companies

focus on specific goals at the start,

the pathways to more ESG friendly technologies

and all, they then look at new technologies,

but I think they need to keep a broad mind

when it comes to exploring experimental

and you opening areas.

I think that’s particularly important

because for many companies,

the processes haven’t been formulated yet

of how they’re actually going to tackle using technology

to ESG goals.

The management mindset needs to see it as important

as productivity, really,

for the longevity of the company and the wider industry.

And then if the metrics set at the start are wrong,

then everything could be wrong that they had done

at the end of the road.

So I think that when considering new technologies

change management, it’s critical in terms of clashes.

There may be clashes with the engineering side

of businesses, but comes back to this license to operate.

And sustainability depends on getting

those data processes right.

And basically incentivize everyone to play their own part.

<v ->Great, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

Some really interesting points there

we’re going to dwell on digital,

just a couple more points.

Picking up on that point that you’ve made Craig

about mindset and aligning stakeholders

and having the right metrics.

Leah, if I could come around to you,

what’s your experience of that?

So, you know, sort of digital transformation,

great you know, software,

but people have different mindsets,

people have different motivations.

What is your experience of that sort of human aspect

of digital transformation

and making sure that the stakeholders

are lined up with a clear set of metrics

of what we’re trying to achieve versus a high level

that’s just transformed.

What’s your experience?

<v ->Oh, that’s a very tough question.</v>

You’ve, asked a Colin,

I’ll take it maybe in two parts.

I think that one is changed management,

of people, as in any type of transformation,

you have to make sure that, if you have different mindsets

and you’re talking about sort of almost a cultural shift

inside your organization,

even if it’s driven by some digital elements

that needs to be properly accompanied and managed,

it means, you know, giving people different tools

that are or asking them to give in different data

into a new system.

And you need to, I think sufficiently

anticipate making sure that they understand why,

and they understand how they’re going to need

to be reporting and what they’re going to be reporting

in and when it’s for.

And then,

so that means the different types of training

and adaptation.

So I think that’s the first element,

but I think I’m going to kind of come back

to part of the original question was about,

you know, the importance of digital transformation.

And I think it’s so key because I think one of the main

drivers from all of the stakeholders

that we talked about in the beginning is about transparency.

It’s about being able to show

that we are responsible operators,

and we can only do that if we can have a degree

of transparency that is supported by data.

And so supported by data speaks to all of the points

that correct a mine right now,

I mentioned about the integration of these data systems

in a way that the people can manage,

but transparency also means being able to show

kind of not only where we are

in terms of our operations,

but where we’re going into the future.

So that’s also driven by data.

That’s also driven by these digital tools.

So again, to come back to what I said at the beginning

it’s life cycle assessments, those are really driven

by new data’s new databases that need to connect

to different systems.

It means integrating

an internal carbon price, for example,

into a CapEx process to sort of speak to about

Rainer said, you know, about being able to valorize

the ESG component in,

the way we assess products and all of those data-driven

elements have a human element behind

because these are new.

Well, they’re not new as in just yesterday,

but they’re often new additions to an existing process.

And we need to make sure that we’re sufficiently

clear about the why,

how they’re linked to our group strategy going forward,

why we need this metric and how each individual

sort of data provider is contributing to a larger picture.

Otherwise we’re probably going to fall into,

the pitfall of, you know, poorly reported data,

or, you know, not understanding why this,

there’s data integration and this digital transformation

is so important for achieving the ESG

driven ambition now that we might have.

<v ->Leah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

And final question on digital.

Liv if I could come back to your vantage point

in Accenture,

what would your advice be to companies

looking to start accelerate down

the digital transformation track?

<v ->Great question.</v>

And I’m going to pick up on what a number of people

have said here.

First of all, don’t focus on digital.

In fact, we don’t call it digital transformation

in Accenture anymore at all,

we call it data-driven transformation

and we’ve even, we had five divisions of Accenture,

one of which was Accenture digital,

which 18 months ago now disappeared because digital

is a given it’s written through everything.

And one of the difficulties of realizing

value from digital transformation

when it first became a high priority,

six, seven, eight years ago was the fact

that it was very technology led

not purpose and data led.

And to pick up on James’s point

about saying the foundations of data management

and often skipped over,

because it was a case of looking at these digital

technologies and thinking, well, this is fantastic.

Where can we implement it rather than looking

at the business and the business need

and understanding where your risks are

and where the value opportunity is,

and then examining, okay, bearing in mind those focus areas,

what data do we need to understand the current situation?

So you need that situation awareness and the baseline

to know where you’re starting from,

what conditions you’re starting with,

and then what insights do we need to generate

and what data capabilities do we need to enable

in order to be able to solve

for those in what the relevant time horizon.

And that’s really key because also at the very beginning

of the whole digital transformation piece,

the mindset was let’s digitize everything.

That’s how all data, all days is equal.

All data should be digitized and it should all be

in one massive place.

And in fact, that’s not the case.

You need to be strategic about it,

and you need to look up for that particular business need

not operating in silos.

It’s very important to,

not look at things in isolation, to,

to factor in dependencies and constraints of other segments

of the value chain or other processes that may be impacted,

excuse the helicopter, going overhead.

It is very important to be strategic about it.

So what is the business need?

It was based on risk and value opportunity.

What data do you need to actually understand

the conditions and situate,

I give you that situation awareness,

what insights could you generate to solve for that?

And therefore, how,

what technology do you need to implement,

or expand or develop in to enable

that solving of whatever the business need is.

And that’s the approach we take very much.


<v ->Liv thank you very much indeed.</v>

We’ve got five minutes left,

so we’re going to flick onto the final topic

and I actually would change the sort of tone on this.

Hopefully I’ll get a very specific question.

I just like to go around everyone

and get your surgeon succinct, answer on this one.

And we’re going to pick up on that point, data.

So the final sort of theme is standards.

So you’ve talked about integration,

you’ve talked about transparency

and Liv you’ve made a wonderful point of,

don’t talk about digital.

It’s all about data.

So we’re in the world of data.

So the question to all of you is how important

are our standards, data standards,

and how far does in that

we’d like to start Liv.

Should we start with you?

<v ->Do you mean standard specific CSG</v>

or standards around data,


<v ->I guess, standards around data,</v>

generally that play into ESG,

but standards around data.

<v ->The standards that you, it depends.</v>

It depends on each individual company really,

as to what data’s done, that you might put into place,

what data models you might develop.

It depends on the area of the business,

the function, the discipline,

it is important to have standards,

but I think it was Leah that mentioned the importance,

of enabling we’ve got impacts of different geographies.

And within a company you’re going to have nuances

between the different geographies in terms of the data

that they need.

Obviously, a lot of overlaps in many disciplines,

but the data that they need

and also the data that they have access to.

And there may be some restrictions around that.

So data standards,

there’s an element that can be company-wide,

but actually you need to allow for the nuances

of geographies,

you need to allow for the nuances of different stages

of a project life cycle or different segments

of the value chain?

<v ->Okay, Liv thank you very much.</v>

<v ->Leah over to you.</v>

<v ->Yeah, no, I would, I would almost take it</v>

probably similar, but any other way around,

I think if there was a greater harmonization

of some ESG standards across


it would certainly facilitate data management.

I think the real challenge we face is we are bombarded

by a multiplicity of standards for different markets,

for different segments of our industry,

and then different geographies as Liv mentioned.

And if there was like, there is in,

in finance a little bit more of a consensus

on ESG standards that would simplify considerably

the data standard or the data management element,

we would need, again, as Liv

said, some room for adjustment,

but it would be a much simpler ecosystem

than the one we’re facing now.

And I think that’s the call you hear from all sustainability

professionals, in any cases,

the quest for a little bit more of a harmonization

in standards internationally.

<v ->Thank you very much.</v>


<v ->I think it’s data standardization is extremely important,</v>

especially for a, for a company which

has operation many different countries.

This is one,

precondition for me to,

to talk the same language.

You know, if,

if we cannot exchange data and things getting

very important.

And the practical example of that when,

when I look at the last a decade or maybe last 15 years,

how much time we spent in data preparation and just to

present, you know, we are really,

I think my experts,

I spent at least one third of the time, not in the field,

but to create PowerPoints

just to report.

And I think this is not directly ESG

but the data standardization is the precondition

to work with dashboards, to work with standard information,

which are easier to understand an easier to come

to communicate, but also to understand by the management,

if we report.

And, then the other aspect of course,

is exchange of information between the different systems.

We see that, for example, in the,

in the moment we are looking at, at our fleet data,

and of course we don’t have homogeneous fleets,

we have all

kind of producers and our operations.

And also there it’s would be nice if,

if they would agree on one standard.

And I know that there are efforts to do that

so that we, that we can utilize the data very well.

I think it’s, it’s very important,

and re we have a high focus on that in the moment.

<v ->Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

I’m conscious we’re over the RSO.

So Craig grind to yourself for a quick assigned bite

on standards.

<v ->Yeah, very quickly.</v>

I would just say that in my view,

the data standards feed into wider standards, essentially.

I think for example,

the tailing standards have been a success

and you see initiatives like the Corporal Mark,

Caldwell Traceability initiatives are making great inroads.

I think these are important as customers become more aware

of the source of their metals

and legislation’s implemented and those things,

but it also comes back to data transparency

and stake holder collaboration, as we mentioned,

because I feel that this data will need to be,

and these standards will need to be in place to facilitate

all the automation and electrification initiatives

and the automation of ESG metrics.

But I also feel that ESG

data monitoring

is really just at the start of this journey in mining.

So I think there’s a lot of road left there.

<v ->Great, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

And Colin, we’re coming to you for the final word.

I’ll just jump quickly to Thomas and James,

a quick sound bite from Thomas and James

in regard to standards and data.

<v ->I say that the sequence has always supported standards.</v>

I mean, we were implementable in divine design

and implementing,

for example, the OMS standard,

but, you know, standards,

you know, would save societies just so much time

and effort and money and you know,

and many of the challenges have been talked about,

just using the data and moving it along

are due to the lack of standards

as well as failed software projects.

So I think standards are always good.

It makes life easier and more efficient.

It’s ESG it felt really


<v ->Yeah, probably just to add to that.</v>

I mean, I think there’s two points to that.

One is that again, it’s on software providers,

such as ourselves to design the, as you said,

the open platforms that can take different data formats.

So we’re not locking ourselves down to one particular thing.

So to make it as open as possible.

And the other point has made earlier about how do we raise

the entire industry?

So how do we bring up those, this smaller producers?

And I think it’s again important for the larger companies

to set those standards and that makes easier for others

to follow.

So whether that is data or ESG standards,

if we ca lead then we can bring everybody

else up with that.

<v ->James, thank you very much indeed.</v>

Dr. Colin final word.

<v ->I agree with everything.</v>

Everyone has to set the additional aspect

I’d put onto it,

which we sort of tickled if you like,

is the importance of data standards for the supply chain.

I think Craig was particularly mentioning this,

but, you know,

a bunch of my members specialize in lifecycle analysis.

If the only data you’ve got is from niobium mining

in Brazil, for example, that’s the data you have to use,

and that may not be representative of niobium

mining anywhere else.

And if that data is either not available or available

in a very weird kind of way at data standards,

you’ve got a real problem with understanding

the impact of the whole supply chain.

And I think that’s becoming much more of interest

to the downstream user of the things that our industries

are delivering.

So I agree with everything else,

but also data standards to enable that supply chain

transparency to work properly.

<v ->Colin, thank you very much, indeed.</v>

We are three minutes over the time, my apologies,

terrible motivations,

and I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today.

Thank you all for the perspectives, some brilliant points.

So it’s very clear that ESG is ubiquitous across

stakeholders, not just from employees but customers,

but to investors as well.

Interesting point around how ESG can be a proxy

for good management and a metric for that.

So I think that’s an interesting point

at the core of digital transformation are humans

and change management.

So Leah has some really interesting points there,

and I think what’s come out from the beginning

of this conversation and we finish on it

is it’s not digital it’s data

and everything that goes with that transparency

integration standards.

So lots of really interesting points.

I just like to extend a sequence deep,

thanks to all of you for taking the time.

Craig, Colin, Liv, Leah and Rainer.

Thank you all very much.


A delight to meet with you.

Thank you for taking the time.

Thank you for making yourselves available.

Your views have been hugely, hugely valuable to the session.

So thank you all very much.

And I hope I haven’t chewed into too much

of the next meeting.

Thank you all very much, indeed.

<v ->Great you welcome..</v>

<v ->Thank you.</v>

<v ->Thank you.</v>


<v ->Bye</v>

<v ->Bye.</v>