Global mining faces three major challenges, from the perspective of the Mexican company Fresnillo plc, the largest silver producer on the planet.
Broadly speaking, global mining is subject to a number of underlying trends that affect its competitiveness and viability.
The key trends below are those that also affect Fresnillo plc.
Greater environmental and social focus
Both in Mexico and around the world, public concern regarding the potential social and environmental dangers of mining operations and developments has increased.
The greatest negative sentiment towards the development and operation of the mine is evidenced by increased regulatory restrictions and social activism.
For this reason, the response of Fresnillo plc has been, according to the company itself, an active commitment with all interested parties and through sustainable business practices, contributing positively to society in general.
Strategic Workforce Challenges
Driven by negative sentiment around the industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract, develop and maintain a young, dedicated and skilled workforce in the Mexican mining industry.
In this regard, Fresnillo plc states that it aims to provide an inclusive and diverse workplace; one where safety is at the center of everything it does, and where ethics and integrity are built into its culture.
Focus on decarbonization and climate change
As stated by the UN, “Climate change is now affecting all countries on all continents. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries a lot today and even more tomorrow.
Given that mining is an energy-intensive business and Fresnillo is a major player in the extractive industry, this company recognizes that it has a clear responsibility to play its role in mitigating its impact on the climate.
At the same time, the carbon emissions from gold production are significantly lower than those of most major mined products, including steel, aluminum, and coal.
On this, the company‘s objective is to improve its energy efficiency and progressively introduce cleaner technologies, including renewable energies, in its energy mix, in order to mitigate the physical, regulatory and reputational risks of climate change.