Sustainable Development in the Mining Industry - KeyNote Presentation at the Mining Engineers' Association(MEAI) Conference, Feb 2014

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Published on March 1, 2014

Author: prabhashgokarn



KeyNote Presentation made by me at Seminar on Sustainable Development in Mining Industry on 28-Feb-14

MINING ENGINEERS’ ASSOCIATION OF INDIA (MEAI) Bhubaneswar Chapter Workshop at Sukinda Chromite Mines, Tata Steel 28th Feb'14 Prabhash Gokarn Head Raw Material Projects Tata Steel

Disclaimer The presentation is an amalgamation of author’s own views and thoughts. Tata Steel does not necessarily subscribe to the views and thoughts expressed in the presentation and should not be held responsible for the same. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel

Presentation Structure 1. Three Views on Development v/s Sustainability 4-8 2. Mining and Sustainability 9 - 15 3. Rational Development - “fair” to stakeholders 16 - 20 4. Sustainable Development : Need & Reward 21 - 24 Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 2

….a developer is one who is yet to build his house, champions of sustainability are already well ensconced in theirs…. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 3

Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 4

First View .…. Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine in California, United States. The mine, owned by Molycorp Inc., once supplied most of the world's rare earth elements. Chemical processing of ore stopped since 1998 and the mine was fully closed in 2002, in response to environmental restrictions . Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 5

Second View …. Description of Rare Earth Mining near near the city of Ganzhou, in in Jiangxi province, China : Miners use a chemical extraction process that involves digging several holes of just a few feet in depth and feeding pipes into the holes. A concentrated mixture of chemicals is then pumped through the pipes, leaching out rare earth metals as it passes. It is incredible that such a low-tech method is used to harvest minerals that are used in some of the world's most technologically advanced products… Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel Horrendous levels of pollution at Jiangxi at any cost 6

The Confused View…. Unabated Production : Expansion Kerala Mineral & Metals : In God’s own country, water heavily contaminated with monazite, iron fluoride and magnesium, high number of cancer patients. CLOSED Kudramukh Iron Ore Company : In Karnataka : mine has one of highest iron ore grades in the world. Not operating since 2005…. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 7

Hope yet, Convergence of the Debate.. INDIA ? MolyCorp has reopened MountainPass Mine since Aug’13 Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel China Announces $1.6 Billion Pollution Fund…. Government has seized control of rare earth mining after finding widespread illegal stripmining(Feb-14) 8

Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 9

…. Mining uses up the resources which promotes it, thus it must catalyze the development of other economic activities and also generate enough positive impacts to assist in sustainable development …. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 10

Mining & Sustainability  Mining necessarily ends up depleting the resource it uses and is characterized by negative impacts.  However, it has significant potential for making positive impact. It is possible for mining to contribute to sustainable development through:  Enhancing the benefits while mitigating the negative impacts both when mining is taking place and subsequently as well as  Improving stakeholder participation in the management of the resources.  This is however easier said than done… Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 11

Sustainable development Sustainable Development is developing in such a way that future people will have “enough and as good”* * Phrase from John Locke, 1690 Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 12

Sustainable Development Development that :  meets the needs of the present without  compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs a) How much into the future b) Are we underplaying the role of technology? Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 13

How Much Into the Future ? D 2014 2025 2050 2075 2100 D = Development : e.g. Development of a Mine Must we sacrifice just as much for people in the far future as for people in the near future? Why must we leave as much and as good for future people? What if that requires us to sacrifice money, work, time, satisfaction, etc. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 14

Two Views? Defenders of Future People Discounters of Future People Earth’s resources belong to all, no matter when they “arrive”. Locke (1690) We should sacrifice “less for them” – not “should totally dismiss”. We have borrowed the earth from our Children…. - Can’t create new land - Conservation of biodiversity - Population control Nearer future people are closer relatives of ours, so we have stronger obligations to them. Future people will be richer than us; poor don’t have to help rich. They will have technology we can’t predict. Development Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 4

Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 16

Rational Development will….  Stay within the capacity of ecosystems to absorb change.  Provide an adequate standard of living for those who do not have enough, in area of influence.  Create conditions in which individuals and groups can develop their potential, enrich lives, advance technology.  Develop systems of governance which promote and sustain these goals. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 17

Key Principles 1. Leadership 2. Collaboration 3. Corporate Social Responsibility 4. Sustainability 5. Communication The Miner of the 21st Century must know: 1. How to monitor emissions 2. How to protect the environment 3. How to restore a mine site back to other uses 6. Community Engagement 4. How to get along with the neighbours Mining today is a balance of three elements: 1. Techno-economic issues 2. Environmental issues 3. Socio-political issues Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 18

At all stages…  Before mining – plan for the neighbourhood  During operation – protect the environment  After operation – plan for closure – mitigate/restore the site – sustain the communities – sustain the company Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel Rigorous Environmental Impact Assessment process 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Land degradation. Deforestation. Subsidence. Air pollution. Water pollution. Soil Pollution. Abandoned Mine X Planned Closure √ Sustaining the Community – alternate employment 19

Key Challenges  Setting up and expansion of mining operations  Increase in workforce to support expansion  Accommodating the workforce – impact on forest areas  Impact of Operations on the environment  Balancing Local and National interests – local livelihood v/s mineral for development  Immediate, short, medium and long term management issues.  Mine Closure…. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 20

Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 21

Urgency for Sustainable Development  Globalization means that many problems are no longer simply local or national concerns.  Growing evidence that ecosystems are seriously out of balance, posing new and poorly understood risks.  The problem of poverty is inseparably linked with global ecological problems which cannot be solved unless people have a stake in the outcome and the resources to manage the problems.  Governance systems have not yet emerged for the reality of a globalized economy.  Increased awareness and expectations flowing from the new world information regime. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 22

Rewards of Sustainable Development • Production consumption and living patterns consistent with ecological balance. • Dramatic reduction of the numbers of people living in poverty. • Greater opportunity to develop individual and group potential. • More open, cooperative, transparent and consensual systems of governance. Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 23

Sustainable Development is Difficult But the Rewards are Immense Prabhash Gokarn : Tata Steel 24

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