Mining group CEO speaks out in favor of common investment standards.
Much more international cooperation and shared investment standards are key to the supply of critical minerals for the energy transition, according to BHP CEO Mike Henry. To attract much-needed capital, governments must provide predictability and stability, he said at the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) first Critical Minerals Summit in Paris. That means “stable fiscal settings, streamlined planning and permitting processes, and harmonized standards,” the chief executive of the Australian mining group explained. Societal expectations regarding value creation and environmental, social and governance (ESG) rules have risen, he said, and rightly so. Increasingly, compliance with those rules determines access to capital.
Using copper as an example, Henry estimated that around $250 billion in growth capital would be needed by 2030 to implement the measures required for a “plausible 1.5-degree scenario.” However, he said, only $40 billion to $50 billion in growth projects are currently committed.
As he did recently in his speech at the World Mining Congress (we reported), the CEO again warned against too much government intervention. Although subsidies could be helpful in some cases, Henry rather sees a mixture of “pragmatic international cooperation and competition” as the solution to accelerate the energy transition.