The World Bank has launched the Climate-Smart Mining Facility, a fund aimed at encouraging sustainable mining of metals and minerals and complement the energy transition.
The facility, which is initially backed by Rio Tinto and Anglo American and the German Government, will support the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar power, and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles.
The multi-donor initiative calls for collaboration of governments, private sector companies, as well as academic and research institutions to promote sustainable mining practices in resource-rich developing countries.
Additionally, the trust fund will provide assistance to governments for the development of a policy, regulatory and legal framework that encourages climate-smart mining.
Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said: “Our collaboration with the World Bank and many others is aimed at making a real difference by promoting sustainable practices across our industry.”
The facility will mainly focus on four core themes which include 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.
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.”
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.
Projects under the trust fund could include supporting the integration of renewable energy into mining operations; supporting the strategic use of geological data for a better understanding of “strategic mineral” endowments; forest-smart mining; and recycling of minerals.
Puliti noted: “Countries with strategic minerals have a real opportunity to benefit from the global shift to clean energy.”