World Economic Forum: The Mining Industry Lacks Capital

by | 17. Jan 2024 - 14:03 | Politics

More international cooperation is needed to avoid raw material shortages.

Critical minerals and how their supply can be secured against the backdrop of rising demand and increasing geopolitical tensions were on the agenda on the third day of the World Economic Forum in Davos. One of the key points of the panel moderated by Jason Bordoff, energy policy expert and professor at Columbia University, was that the mining industry needs more capital. The industry is suffering from underinvestment, said Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group. His company supplies important raw materials for the energy transition. Sobotka sees a “perfect storm” brewing due to rising demand but insufficient supply from the industry. He attributes the sector’s lack of capital to the fact that investors know too little about mining and are not interested in it. The industry is needed but not necessarily wanted, added Leila Benali, Moroccan Minister for the Energy Transition. However, she also believes that the industry must communicate better the progress made regarding sustainability.

Sobotka referred to another factor recently repeatedly cited as a challenge: a shortage of skilled workers. By 2029, more than half of the workforce in the US mining industry could retire. Like Benali, he also sees the lengthy approval procedures slowing down further development.

The participants also agreed that there needs to be more international cooperation along the entire supply chain. The importance of recycling must also increase, and as quickly as possible.

A recording of the panel discussion can be found here.

Photo: iStock/OlyaSolodenko

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