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Nagle expresses firm belief in Glencore’s coal-depleting climate change strategy

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Nagle expresses firm belief in Glencore’s coal-depleting climate change strategy

Gary Nagle

16th February 2021

By: Martin Creamer
Creamer Media Editor

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Firm belief in the climate change strategy being embarked upon by diversified mining and marketing company Glencore was expressed on Tuesday by incoming Glencore CEO Gary Nagle.

Outgoing CEO Ivan Glasenberg announced in December that he would be handing over the reins of the global company in mid-2021 to Nagle, who has served Glencore for more than two decades.

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Well-known in South Africa for having run Glencore’s ferroalloys business here, Nagle told analysts and the media: “I firmly believe it’s the right strategy for our company.

“Our plan is to decarbonise our total emissions footprints, that’s scope 1, 2 and 3, which is unique in the industry. How we get there is the depletion of our coal business. That really gets us to an ambition of net zero by 2050,” Nagle said.

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“It’s the right pathway for Glencore, it’s the right pathway for the world, and that’s the way we’re heading,” he said during the presentation in which Mining Weekly participated.

“Of course, we’ll listen to shareholders. We want to hear what shareholders have to say. So far the feedback has been very positive, but we want to hear more.

“If there’s a demand to do something different by the shareholders, we’ll listen and we’ll focus on what the shareholders want us to do. But I strongly believe in the approach outlined in this presentation. It’s the way forward by our company. It sets us up for the future, and I look forward to driving the strategy as we go forward,” he added.

Earlier, Glasenberg had displayed a series of slides on to the screen showing how the company’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 would shape its future.

To meet the 1.5°C Paris Accord temperature change pathway, the world would have to utilise a lot less oil, coal and gas, he said.

However, what that would mean an increase in the amount of metals required for the different kinds of electricity generation and storage and electric vehicles.

Demand for copper would rise to 60-million tons a year by 2050, twice the current consumption.

“We’ll have to produce a million tons copper per annum going forward from 2021 to 2050 for the transition to the different forms of energy,” Glasenberg calculated.

Nickel consumption would go up 3.7 times to 9.2-million tons in the same period.

“We’ll have to have nickel production growth of around 225 000 t a year, as opposed to 2010 to 2019 production  growth of about 100 000 t a year. we’ve really got to double production every year going forward,” he said.

“Cobalt is a similar type story. Today the world consumes around about 130 000 t of cobalt a year and by 2050, it’s be consuming around 507-million tons. A large amount of that will be put in batteries for the electric vehicles. We’ll have to produce an extra 13 000 t of cobalt a year to meet that target and between 2018 and 2019 in the DRC, we’ve only grown by 7 000 t a year, so we’ve really got to double that.

“Similarly, I must talk about zinc where we’re 13.9-million tons, going to 28.8-million tons in 2050, and we’ll have to grow by 500 000 t a year as opposed to around about 260 000 t a year.

“That clearly displays these are the metals that are required in the future for this energy transition and therefore the world will have to find ways to increase production. There isn’t a large pipeline of new mines coming into the system. There has been limited investment and no new sources of discovery and there for there are not many shovel-ready projects and as you can imagine, we are going to need a lot of them to feed this demand that is coming into this part of the commodity sector,” said Glasenberg.

Glencore’s portfolio is populated with all these metals, as well as vanadium and aluminium.

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