Future prospects: Kalamazoo invests in ESG for mining exploration

ESG

Dr. Luke Mortimer, Exploration Manager at Kalamazoo Resources Limited, talks with Australian Mining Magazine about committing to carbon neutrality and what it really means to have ESG credibility.

In a public commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, Kalamazoo announced that the company has fully offset its carbon emissions for this year by purchasing carbon credits with a verified environmental reforestation program in Western Australia.

This process included Kalamazoo establishing its carbon footprint; outlining its plans to measure and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions; and offsetting its remaining carbon-generating activity.

As a result, the company has become the first gold and lithium explorer in Australia to be certified carbon neutral for its business operations, joining more than 350 Australian companies that are now working in accordance with the Australian Government’s recognised Climate Active Program.

“Lithium is one of the critical minerals for renewables and electrification, and the industry is booming right now with market values at an all-time high,” says Mortimer.

“We have lithium exploration projects that have been drawing interest from investors around the world and our ESG efforts have allowed us to demonstrate our environmental credibility to potential partners.”

As the world moves towards net-zero emissions, community legislators and regulatory bodies increasingly expect resource companies to take a stronger, more public commitment to ESG initiatives and “Licence-to-Operate” issues, according to Mortimer.

“Gaining land access is a critical component for all our exploration projects and, in order to achieve that, we have to demonstrate that we are being proactive in our efforts to engage early with the Traditional Owners as well as the local community. Which is why a big part of what we do involves community engagement,” he explains.

“By observing local history, ecology and native title agreements – all of which preserve the integrity of the land – we can better inform and educate all of our stakeholders about the kind of work we do and gain trust with our partners.”

The decision to implement ESG initiatives and go carbon neutral was first proposed by the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Luke Reinehr to minimise the environmental impact of Kalamazoo’s operations in Victoria and Western Australia.

“The continual reduction and offsetting of our emissions is a natural extension to building a sustainable business that incorporates leading ESG principles,” Reinehr remarked in an ASX announcement.

Kalamazoo has led the way on ESG for small-scale mining operations by offsetting its emissions for the year, as well as exploring new ways to reduce emissions such as switching to green energy, reducing fuel consumption on site, and even considering the possibility of acquiring land for future environmental offsets.

But in addition to positive environmental action, Mortimer insists that committing to leading ESG principles is an imperatively smart business decision for mining organisations.

“If a mining company fails to incorporate ESG groundwork at the start of a project, the results can be dire,” he says. “The moment public trust is compromised, projects get delayed or possibly even halted, and shareholders take their investments elsewhere.

“ESG and sustainable investment funds and shareholder activism can play a significant role these days in public perception, and the market can be punishing for those who are not operating ethically and sustainably,” concludes Mortimer.

“As the market continues to shift in favour of good corporate citizens, ESG credentials will become the competitive edge.”

To learn more about Kalamazoo’s ESG journey, watch Dr. Luke Mortimer speak in an exclusive Australian Mining Magazine ESG panel discussion, joined by Ryan Smyth and Matt Scholl from Envirosuite: You’ve committed to ESG – now what?

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