Sigma’s Chief Strategy Officer Speaks at World Climate Summit during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid about “Leadership in Responsible Mining”.
- Sigma Lithium is pleased to announce today that Ana Cabral-Gardner, Chief Strategy Officer presented at the World Climate Summit during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 25 on the panel covering the theme of “Leadership in responsible mining – mitigating the impacts of resource extraction” on December 8, in Madrid.
- She discussed the case study of Sigma as an ESG “green lithium” company and the role played by Sigma’s investors in providing the capital and the leadership to drive implementation of environmental and social best practices. Ms Cabral-Gardner highlighted how these key issues are part of a broader movement spearheaded by ethical and ESG-focused investors driving sweeping changes in practices across the mining industry as a whole.
Excerpts from Ms Cabral-Gardner’s speech include:
- “In battery materials, we start with a consumer who is very knowledgeable about carbon emissions and this is why he is buying an electric car to begin with. That consumer is demanding carbon neutrality, carbon consciousness and sustainability, throughout the value chain…when one thinks about the cathodes… it will be counterintuitive to buy a car to decarbonize the environment if upstream you are burning coal to produce lithium, nickel or using child labor to produce cobalt.”
- “In this [EV] industry a paradigm is being broken [from the ICE days], whereby now ‘upstream matters’ and therefore, upstream practices matter too. So ultimately, in the very last step of the value chain…the OEM hears this [message from the consumer], because they are tuned into what their customer wants. So there is a “push for provenance” in battery materials, and at Sigma we sense that in the contracts [for lithium offtakes]. Sigma is in binding offtake discussions with some of the EV industry-leading participants in great part because of the [differentiation] of the “green lithium’ Sigma is 100% hydro, it is 100% environmentally conformed to dry stacking and other best practices. So even though the green price differentiation hasn’t yet happened in metals and it isn’t expected, it has been translated into displacement value: you get the best contracts, you get to sell the big volumes…”
- “Sigma produces environmentally sustainable high-quality high-grade lithium concentrate from its pilot plant on-site in Brazil… and the Company has some of the world’s largest and richest deposits of spodumene ore… and we set out to develop it since the very beginning six years ago as an ESG green mining case study, pioneering amongst lithium companies … and we did that by focusing 15% of the capex towards always keeping up with best environmental practices [management and rehabilitation] and obviously focusing on the way [electric] power was sourced to beneficiate the material [lithium].”
- “Four examples of actions include dry-stacking tailings management from inception at the pilot plant to investing in water recirculation equipment that would lead the company to recycle 90% of the water…so there is an enormous focus on water efficiency. And then there is energy efficiency, 100% of the energy is green, power is sourced from hydro.”
- “More importantly there is the “S” in ESG, the Company works in a region with the second-lowest IDH [index of human development] in Brazil and one of the lowest in the world… So [Sigma] is transformational as we become the largest investor by a factor of 20x in the region with massive social impact. This has been our mission and just demonstrates that with the right purpose and the right will we can become a great example even though we are a relatively small mining company on a small budget.
- But why? Because being in battery materials… the purpose of that value chain is to decarbonize at the “mobility-end” of the value chain. So if we do not behave accordingly by being 100% green and by powering the energy with 100% green energy and enforcing those practices all along, we would not be a sustainable member of that [EV] value chain.