The panel discussion which was moderated by S. Vijay Iyer, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MIGA featured the CEO of Barrick Gold, CEO – Energy, and Minerals from Rio Tinto, Jonas Mcebisi the former Deputy Finance Minister of South Africa, and Caroline Donally the Managing Director of Denham Capital.
Traceability, which is a facet of supply chain management, is one type of Cost of Chain model whereby the material in the chain can be traced back to its actual sources. Depending on the solution deployed, it enables mining organizations to make informed, actionable decisions, better engage with their employees and communities and more efficiently manage resources.
Panelists were in agreement that while many of the big mining firms were implementing traceability strategies, the rise of small scale mining posed a threat to the mining value chain and surrounding communities. The increase in small scale mining is something many African countries, including Zambia, have begun to see in recent times as communities seek out the value creation opportunities that come with it.
However, because small scale mining is highly unregulated, issues such as environmental impact concerns whilst participating in the extractive activity are becoming a huge concern. Furthermore, the practice also encourages nonconsideration of labour laws and standards leading to child labor, for example, in some African countries. Should the practice go unchecked, small scale mining will fail to be a big contributor to African Economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
One initiative that ZCCM IH in Zambia has taken on in Zambia to address the aforementioned is to put in place mechanisms that will see traceability be implemented as the group invests in Gold mining.
The panelists also discussed Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and how many of in ‘Big Mining’ had graciously adopted it. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. These criteria help to better determine the future financial performance of companies (return and risk) and ‘Big Mining’ is adapting it to meet the changing landscape of modern business.
Source: Financial Insight Zambia