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More storms, fires, and floods

World Mining Congress 3 mins read

How will more extreme weather events affect mining operations?

ESG Session/Climate change and Mining – 11:00 Wed 28 June

One of the unknowns for the mining sector globally is how climate change will affect day to day operations.

“I think most mining companies are totally unaware of this issue,” says leading Australian academic and author, Professor Ian Lowe.

This session discusses global climate change issues that directly impact the more resilient supply of critical minerals and materials for the manufacture of equipment and technologies to deliver net-zero emissions. We’ll hear from experts from Mongolia, Chile, and Austria.

“It seems to me that Mongolia has exactly the same problem that Australia has. We have the impacts of climate change, at the same time as having an historic economic dependence on the export of carbon.”

Wednesday 28 June – session and panel discussion – 11-12:45

  • Climate change: Risks and Opportunities for the Global Mining Sector

Dr David Karoly, University of Melbourne (1100) will spell out the predicted impacts of climate change on mining, and what that means for securing the critical minerals needed for the energy transition. Flood, fire, and extreme storm events all have the potential to negatively impact day to day mine operations, including extraction, maintenance, and logistics; staff movements – particularly fly-in, fly out workforces; and resources re-directed to recovery efforts.


  • Mining and climate change in the Chilean context

Chile is the world’s leading producer of copper and has the world's largest reserves of lithium. But how is Chile is dealing with water scarcity in the central and northern regions due to reduced rainfall over the past two decades? This is affecting copper production and putting pressure on the current form of lithium extraction which needs reliable water supplies. The presentation is specifically about the predicted impacts of climate change on existing mining operations in that country, as well as future mining of critical minerals there. 

Dr Doug Aitken, Sustainable Minerals Institute International Centre of Excellence, Chile


  • No Green Deal without access to critical raw materials - a tightrope act between climate neutrality and security of supply?

The manufacturing powerhouses in Europe are well-placed to support the net zero transition – but they need a reliable supply of critical minerals. The challenges faced for the buyers of critical minerals given global strategic pressures are described as “a tightrope act”. From Austria, Dr Roman Stiftner, addresses the issues EU countries face in meeting commitments to climate neutrality without secure supplies.

Roman Stiftner Austrian Mining & Steel Association


  • Exploring double binds and opportunities of the nexus of energy, climate change and environment of Mongolia

The nexus of energy, climate change, and environment in Mongolia puts the mining industry in a position of “double binds”. A traditional livestock-based economy coupled with a dependence on coal mining for internal energy and export means the transition to global net zero is resulting in multiple issues arising from environmental impacts, pollution, governance, infrastructure, and workforce. The mining industry in Mongolia needs to continue or even expand to meet economic and energy goals, yet it is already in conflict with local herders over land and water issues, which have been exacerbated by climate change. 

Dr Anarmaa Sharkhuu, National University, Mongolia

About the Congress

The World Mining Congress was first held in 1958 in Poland. It has been held every two to three years ever since. It is UN-affiliated and continues to have a secretariat in Poland.

The 26th World Congress will be held for the first time in Australia, spanning the entire Brisbane Convention Centre from 26 to 29 June 2023. The Congress anticipates over 3000 participants from over 70 countries.

The Congress was brought to Australia with the support of the host, CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency. The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources is our Major Sponsor and Queensland is our Host State Sponsor. A large suite of leading global and national companies and research agencies are also major sponsors of the Congress.

Inclusion of Congress speakers in media releases does not imply endorsement by the WMC, its hosts, partners and sponsors.

For more information and accreditation contact
Niall Byrne,,  +61-417-131-977 and visit

Contact details:

For interviews and accreditation contact Niall Byrne,   +61-417-131-977 an visit

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