The World Bank has launched the Climate-Smart Mining Facility, a fund aimed to encourage sustainable mining, with support from partners such as private sector companies Rio Tinto and Anglo American and the German Government.
The facility is intended to establish partnerships to support sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals that are used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar power and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles.
Under the initiative, governments, private sector companies, as well as academic and research institutions will collaborate to promote sustainable mining practices in resource-rich developing countries.
The multi-donor trust fund will also provide assistance to governments for the development of a policy, regulatory and legal framework that encourages climate-smart mining and private capital.
It will focus on activities related to climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, reducing material impacts and creating market opportunities.
The World Bank targets an investment of $50m, which will be deployed over a five-year timeframe.
Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said: “We want to be part of the solution on climate change and the best solutions will come from innovative partnerships across competitors, governments and institutions.
“Our collaboration with the World Bank and many others is aimed at making a real difference by promoting sustainable practices across our industry.
“We look forward to supporting the Climate-Smart Mining Facility by contributing not just funding but also expertise as a leader in sustainable mining practices.”
The fund has been developed jointly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that the benefits from the transition to low-carbon technologies are shared.
It will support projects such as the integration of renewable energy into mining operations; strategic use of geological data for a better understanding of ‘strategic mineral’ deposits; forest-smart mining; and recycling of minerals.
World Bank senior director and head of the energy and extractives global practice Riccardo Puliti said: “The World Bank is committed to working with Rio Tinto and all stakeholders involved in creating renewable energy technologies.
“Given global demand for minerals used in energy storage and batteries, such as lithium, nickel and graphite, will soar by 2050, mining for these strategic minerals must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”