News

Keynote Address to Gold Forum Americas Conference

On Monday 21st September 2020 Mark Fellows of Skarn Associates gave a keynote address to the Denver Gold Group's Gold Forum Americas conference, titled "ESG: Why it matters and how it will drive value for miners and investors".

Much of the current discussion around ESG may seem nebulous. Often it centres on distant emission reduction goals, proliferating reporting standards or opaque ESG ratings. Skarn offers an alternative approach - rigorous asset-level analysis, linked to mineral economics.

The presentation provides some examples of Skarn's work benchmarking carbon emissions, water use and land disturbance in the gold mining industry.

ESG issues are becoming increasingly material with regard to investment decisions, for miners and investors. Over time they will become major value drivers for the sector, influencing metal prices, production costs and availability of finance. Innovative investors will be able to gain an edge, if they understand the future impact of ESG on the sector.

At certain points in its history the gold mining industry has been a pioneer in adopting technology - for instance carbon adsorption, heap leaching, pressure oxidation, bio-oxidation, and large scale open pit mining. The gold mining sector should have a natural role in the zero carbon energy revolution, thereby turning a threat into an opportunity.

Mark's keynote presentation to the DGG can be accessed here. The presentation slides can be downloaded via the Tools & Data page.

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Carbon Emission Curves for Copper, Nickel, Iron Ore and Metallurgical Coal

Skarn Associates is pleased to announce the first release of its Carbon Emission Curves for the mining industry. These curves and underlying mine-by-mine data are available for copper, nickel, iron ore and metallurgical coal, covering global mine production excluding China.

These four commodities are vital inputs for the world economy, accounting for more than 50% of the total rock mined globally. In particular, nickel is growing in importance as a component of electric vehicle batteries, which has recently prompted increased scrutiny of its environmental footprint.

Skarn’s objective with this analysis is to quantify carbon emissions along the supply chain at a granular (asset) level. The analysis covers 2018 and 2019 Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions1, plus freight and downstream processing. Our analysis is carried out according to carefully defined supply chain system boundaries, to facilitate like-for-like comparison of assets. We include emissions from mining activities, ore processing, transport and downstream processing, up to the first-use entry point. Skarn’s methodology is available for download from our website.

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Skarn Associates adds more expertise to its board

Introducing Sophie Chung and Martin Hollands

Skarn Associates is pleased to announce the recent appointment of two new board members, Sophie Chung and Martin Hollands. These appointments add substantial expertise in support of Skarn’s mission to provide high quality forward-looking mining sector ESG research.

Skarn is developing a unique dataset of mining industry environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts on a forward-looking, asset-by-asset basis. The resulting Mining-ESG product will be made launched via an online data platform in September 2020, allowing clients to independently evaluate mining company ESG performance.

Sophie Chung, Director - Industry Analysis, was previously manager of Copper Cost Research at Wood Mackenzie and principal copper analyst at Rio Tinto. Her expertise ranges from financial valuation of assets and companies to dynamic modelling of global supply and costs. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Sophie worked in equity research at Desjardins Capital Markets, covering the majors and mid-caps on the Toronto stock exchange, in addition to assisting the corporate development team with due diligence on mining assets.

At Skarn, Sophie is leading the development of detailed forward-looking mine-by-mine ESG datasets.

Martin Hollands, Director - Environmental Sustainability has forty years experience bringing together governments, businesses and conservation organisations to work on a shared sustainability agenda. An ecologist, he has extensive experience in the extractives, energy, agriculture and tropical commodities.

He has worked closely with companies such as Rio Tinto and BP, sector associations including the IPIECA and ICMM, and international agencies such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the United Nations. Martin has also been involved for thirty-plus years developing global and national policies on the environment, and on how environmental issues are mainstreamed into other sector policies.

Besides his work with Skarn, Martin is the MD of Conservation Policy & Practice Ltd, Senior Advisor on Business & Biodiversity at BirdLife International, Director of Sustainability at Bloomsbury Minerals Economics and Co-chair of the Strategy & Objectives Working Group of the Global Platform on Sustainable Natural Rubber.

For additonal information contact Mark Fellows: +44 203 290 2492, mark@skarnassociates.com

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Cobalt, Nickel & Manganese Mining Project Analysis

Published February 2020

Skarn recently co-authored a ground-breaking study in collaboration with Roskill.

Automotive electrification and energy storage will provide strong demand for lithium-ion battery raw materials over coming decades.

To understand the potential of new sources of raw materials, Roskill has reviewed the plans of developers evaluating greenfield projects that could contribute to supply in the 2020s.

For each project, the report provides a summary, outlook, critical influencing factors, location and infrastructure, project history, geology, resources, development plans, capital intensity, operating margin and economic analysis with comparative calculations of net present value, internal rate of return, payback and project incentive pricing.

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Graphite Mining Project Analysis

Published February 2020

Skarn recently co-authored a ground-breaking study in collaboration with Roskill.

Automotive electrification and energy storage will provide strong demand for lithium-ion battery raw materials over coming decades.

To understand the potential of new sources of raw materials, Roskill has reviewed the plans of developers evaluating greenfield projects that could contribute to supply in the 2020s.

For each project, the report provides a summary, outlook, critical influencing factors, location and infrastructure, project history, geology, resources, development plans, capital intensity, operating margin and economic analysis with comparative calculations of net present value, internal rate of return, payback and project incentive pricing.

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Greenfield Battery Raw Material Projects for the 2020s

Published June 2019

Skarn recently co-authored a ground-breaking study in collaboration with Roskill.

Automotive electrification and energy storage will drive strong demand for lithium-ion battery raw materials over the coming decades. Understanding these potential future sources of supply is key to identifying potential bottlenecks as well as opportunities.

To understand the potential of new sources of raw materials, Roskill has reviewed the plans of over 50 developers evaluating greenfield projects that could contribute to the supplies of cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese and nickel in the 2020s.

For each project, the report provides a detail multi-decade production, cost and cash flow outlook in addition, to a written project overview outlining each project’s critical influencing factors, location and infrastructure, project history, geology, resources, mining method, processing flowsheet and development plans.

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