From 29 November to 1 December 2022, Mines and Money London organised its conference ‘Europe’s leading mining investment event’. The conference was divided into three streams: ‘Resourcing Tomorrow’, ‘Mines and Money’, and ‘Reimagining Mining’. The event aimed at facilitating stakeholder engagement. The event invited speakers from leading mining, investment and finance experts, and covered the latest global trends, current industry challenges, market analysis, and insights in mining finance.
Three members of the European Federation of Geologists’ (EFG) Panel of Experts on Minerals, Coordinator Markku Iljina, Rob Bowell and Christian Schaffalitzky, attended the second stream of the conference, ‘Resourcing Tomorrow’, thanks to a media partnership that EFG set up with the event. The Panel members attended the conference with a view to support and develop EFG strategies with regards to Minerals. ‘Resourcing Tomorrow’ looked at the energy transition, ESG, sustainability and the circular economy. Moreover, it examined how the policies stemming from COP26 and the need to counter climate change is pushing toward a gradual acceptance of the role that the mining industry has to play in helping decarbonisation.
European minerals policy
It arose from discussions with representatives of the companies settled in Northern Ireland, Sweden, Romania, Spain and Portugal, that there are quite often conflicting EU directives and Member State regulations. This, combined with low public acceptance of the mining sector, has hampered efforts in individual Member States to develop more effective European Minerals Policy, despite the now urgent demand for critical mineral resources.
Pan European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee (PERC)
Prior to the conference, PERC had been identified as one of the main points of action. Since its establishment, the adoption of the PERC Standard has been patchy, with main concentrations in Scandinavia and the industrial minerals’ sector.
Fig 1. Antti Nummi and Aleksi Salo of the Geological Survey of Finland and Ed Sides, chairman of PERC
The Panel members also met with a representative of the London Stock Exchange to identify a contact person that could facilitate the adoption of the code by the organisation, which presently only recognises Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves code (JORC), NI 43-101 and others, but not PERC. The same effort should be applied to other European exchanges to get them to adopt the code as a practical alternative alongside the more established JORC. One challenge PERC has against NI 43-101 is that it does not provide a prescriptive reporting requirement. In this respect, the code would probably be considered suitable as a reporting code.
Fig 2. Markku Iljina, Christian Schaffalitzky and Claire Dorrian (Head of Sustainability Finance, London Stock Exchange)
Looking at the PERC code, the Panel representatives also suggested to consider how to estimate brine and geothermal resources as well as In Situ Leach projects. Furthermore, the recent focus on ESG and its possible incorporation into the code would also help with its recognition by regulators, who are putting a big focus on this factor.
During the event, the Panel members also had the opportunity to carry out a qualitative assessment of recent graduates’ employment by informally interviewing chief geologists in participating companies. All spoke of the lack of field experience in qualified students, which is an essential skill in mineral exploration.
In closing, the EFG would also like to thank Markku, Rob and Christian for their commitment and participation in the event. The EFG is grateful to Mines & Money for giving our delegates the opportunity of attending the event, which allowed to network and keep up with the latest developments in the mining industry, including those related to the green transition.