Mining companies moving towards stakeholder capitalism: KPMG


Industry Manufacturing Resource Sector Global KPMG manufacturing mining risk Sustainability

Canadian companies identified access to capital as one of their top three risks.

Grande Cache Coal’s open pit mining operation in western Alberta. PHOTO: Grande Cache Coal

TORONTO — With climate change concerns fuelling investor activism, the mining industry is moving to embrace stakeholder capitalism, finds KPMG International’s latest global mining risk report.

Three-quarters of mining companies have indicated the industry needs to redefine success using more holistic metrics that include social values, community stakeholders, health, safety, and long-term development, according to the report.

“The bottom line is no longer the only gauge of success,” said Katherine Wetmore, partner, energy and natural resources, KPMG in Canada, in a prepared statement. “The priority is to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability related to sustainable and responsible mining practices.”

KPMG says the sustainability movement explains in part why tailings management was identified as one of the industry’s top 10 risks for 2020.


While commodity prices and permitting were predominantly the key risks, Canada was the only country where mining companies identified access to capital among their top three risks.

By contrast, Australian companies are most concerned about climate change, including natural disasters and global trade wars, while Brazilian and US companies noted community relations and social license to operate among their top three risks.

The report notes that almost 60% of companies believe that access to traditional sources of financing has deteriorated, and nearly 70% say new business models are needed, such as strategic partnerships, private equity and public-private partnerships.

“With the traditional public mining company model becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, companies are looking at joint ventures and partnerships as important objectives for growth,” said Wetmore. “More importantly, we’re seeing a growing recognition from mining companies to be more innovative and use technology to help them become more productive and efficient and to achieve longer term sustainable growth.”

The largest companies said they do not feel the need to merge and can rely on technology, organic growth and talent to grow their organizations.

Companies identified organic growth through exploration and capital investment, together with innovation and technology transformation as their two most-important growth objectives for their organization.


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