Industry Views: Technology and ESG

“Governmental funds such as Investissement Québec and CDPQ insist that sustainability is fundamental. It is also fundamental in our work, because if we do not design projects incorporating those elements, it does not matter how cost efficient the project is, it will not have the social license to operate.”

Cesar Inostroza, Senior Vice-President-Mining and Metallurgy, SNC-Lavalin

“There is always a risk that comes with new innovation, so mining companies will always go towards the most secure process, even if it means higher capex. We have to change that mentality to integrate new innovation. The problem is that when a junior presents its feasibility or bankable study, they are always asked to compare their process with something known. If there is no benchmark in terms of process, it will be more difficult to finance the project. That is why innovation tends to be incremental rather than disruptive in the mining industry.”

Francis Fournier, President and CEO, Corem

“Over time BEV technologies will work their way down the food chain and, eventually, I could foresee that everything underground will be battery electric. From the contractor’s perspective, and particularly as we see mines getting deeper and deeper, the challenges associated with the mine ventilation can be partially offset with the transition to battery electric equipment.”

John McVey, CEO, Procon

“We try to stay as current as we can with emerging technologies, but we are hesitant to include these in some of the feasibility level studies when they are unproven. We want to ensure that projects will be robust enough to deliver what the companies are promising to the market even if the technologies do not improve to the extent people anticipate.”

Patrick McCann, Manager, Entech Mining Ltd.