IM 2021 October 21 - Page 60

MINING CONSULTANTS

The scope of work carried out by consultants has continued to expand in recent years as the amount of in-house expertise within mining organisations has dwindled and the stakeholder demands placed on the sector ’ s operators has increased .

Nowhere is this dynamic clearer than in the environmental , social and governance ( ESG ) space .
What was previously thought of as a ‘ fluffy ’ subject that involved ‘ box ticking ’, ESG requirements are now a fundamental part of doing business in mining .
Whether it is raising cash on the market , obtaining a credit rating or applying for exploitation licences , a company ’ s ESG credentials are continually being scrutinised .
The need to effectively convey a sound ESG strategy throughout their business has , therefore , become a necessity .
Consultants are being relied on here : helping guide companies to achievable , but ambitious , short- , medium- , and long-term ESG goals ; building out a framework for the company to report on progress ; and advising on – and often engineering – the solutions to hit these targets . Such a remit requires industry specialists prepared to put their necks out for miners with the knowledge their forecasts will be judged by all stakeholders at every turn .
Pragmatic ESG projections
RPMGlobal believes it has the specialists to make such projections having recently acquired Nitro Solutions and establishing a dedicated division focused solely on ESG .
RPMGlobal ’ s miningfocused software has recently been bolstered by the addition of ESG considerations with electric vehicle support for its HAULSIM and
SIMULATE haulage simulation platforms

Mining ’ s ESG stewards

As miners adapt to ever-evolving stakeholder requirements , they are leaning on external consultants to shape and deliver their ESG strategies , Dan Gleeson reports
This transaction has provided RPMGlobal with a differentiated offering in the ESG consulting space , according to Ngaire Tranter , Founder of Nitro Solutions and now Head of RPMGlobal ’ s ESG division .
“ Where Nitro and now RPMGlobal is different , is : ‘ we are mining ’,” she told IM . “ We ’ re mining specialists that happen to do ESG , not the other way round .
“ Our team is preferentially selected from people that have been on mine sites . We draw on this expertise to ensure any advice we provide is pragmatic .”
Tranter , a fourth-generation miner , is keen to
Ngaire Tranter , Founder of Nitro Solutions and now Head of RPMGlobal ’ s ESG division get this point across given the ESG focus that has swept through the sector in the past few years .
This has seen miners – big and small – announce ambitious sustainability goals involving Scope 1 , 2 and ( possibly ) 3 emissions ; majors pledge to become more transparent in the way they deal with stakeholders ; and companies ensure that social value is created for employees , contractors and affected communities at all stages of the mining process .
The pool of consultants claiming to have the expertise to advise companies on the correct strategies to achieve such goals in this brave new ESG-focused mining world has expanded significantly .
This ESG demand trend led to RPMGlobal ’ s June acquisition of Nitro , but Tranter says her team – which offers a range of services from environmental approvals , audits , economics , policy and legislation advice to compliance reporting and impact assessments – is one of the few on the market offering tailored and practical mining advice that appreciates the reality of mining .
“ We offer holistic services ,” she said . “ We work with that technology piece and use it in an advisory context to get the correct feedback for clients ,” she said . “ The ability to leverage off that deep domain mining expertise really makes that technology practical and purpose designed to deliver solutions .
“ We ’ re problem solving with our own in-house mining expertise .”
That problem solving piece has become a lot easier for the former Nitro team after joining RPMGlobal , with Tranter saying there is a “ fantastic ” technology foundation for the company ’ s ESG division to leverage off .
What started with the recent addition of electric vehicle support for its HAULSIM and SIMULATE haulage simulation platforms – to allow trade-offs between diesel , hybrid or allelectric haulage scenarios – is set to expand further through organic developments and possibly M & A .
The financial budgeting tools of XERAS Enterprise , for instance , could be used for future emission budgeting , according to Tranter , while some of the pit simulation tools RPMGlobal offers could come into the mine rehabilitation and closure part of the ESG equation .
It is this latter area that Tranter believes will grow in significance and demand in future years – an area RPMGlobal is adequately qualified to advise on .
“ That rehab and closure piece is going to grow further and further , and that will be brought into the discussion much earlier in the process ,” she said . “ Fortunately , our models look a lot further out than what is happening
56 International Mining | OCTOBER 2021