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IGF at 2024 Mining Indaba

Event Details
February 05, 2024 to February 09, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa

The IGF organized and joined a variety of activities during the 2024 Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa, including the following:

The IGF co-organized the following two side events on Wednesday, February 7, in Cape Town. 

Managing Mineral Supply Risks for the Energy Transition

Co-organized with Global Affairs Canada.

As the shift to renewable energy accelerates, there is likely to be a supply gap in mineral production, in particular for critical minerals. The upcoming decade will likely bring a surge in mineral demand. However, supply is expected to struggle to keep up due to challenges such as underinvestment in exploration, poor access to complex mineral deposits, supply chain disruptions and vulnerabilities, and delays in developing new mining projects.

Consequently, the production of commodities like copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, and rare earth elements may not meet the rising demand by 2030, posing significant risks to climate targets and leading to fluctuating prices. Recognizing and understanding these risks is essential to anticipating and navigating the challenges of the energy transition. Two types of risks are of particular concern: those arising from a growing supply gap in mineral production and risks associated with initiatives to address this gap. Both could considerably hold back mining activities, as well as efforts to embrace the energy transition. 

Navigating Change: Gendered Impacts of Mine Closure

Co-organized with Germany’s Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).

Mine closure is a critical aspect of mining operations, ensuring the safety and environmental soundness of the site while sustaining mining communities economically and socially through the post-mining transition. Gender equality is equally pivotal throughout the mining life cycle, including closure. Studies from South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Canada underscore a strong correlation between mine closure and heightened vulnerability among women, ranging from economic challenges to increased domestic and care responsibilities.

In the context of the ongoing energy transition, ensuring gender equality in mine closure becomes imperative as a growing number of mines are expected to close or transition. As mines close amid this shift, equitable considerations are vital for women’s safety, security, livelihoods, and well-being. Integrating gender equality measures safeguards against adverse impacts, fostering a transition that is not only sustainable but prioritizes the inclusive development of mining communities, particularly addressing the unique challenges faced by women and other historically marginalized groups in the process.

Despite this imminent need, insufficient consideration of the social impacts on women during mine closure is a common oversight. This side event explores the interconnectedness of gender equality and mine closure, the subject of a recent IGF report: Gender Equality and Mine Closure: Actions for Governments.