Mining companies have long been subject to criticism for their environmental and social impacts, but a new study by Tresor Gold, a junior mining company focused on exploration and development projects in West Africa, reveals that institutional investors are increasingly viewing mining investments as impact investing if the firms are developing metals essential to crucial technology supply chains.
Tresor Gold’s research shows that 85% of institutional investors, including pension funds, private equity and venture capital funds, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds, believe that miners producing metals for new technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and their battery storage systems are contributing to positive social and environmental outcomes. This trend highlights the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in mining investments.
Nearly two out of five (39%) investors say ESG criteria is very important when investing in gold and nickel miners, while 55% say it is quite important. Moreover, 91% believe gold and nickel miners’ ESG credentials will become more important over the next three years when choosing which firms to back.
Investors themselves will take a bigger role in ensuring miners deliver sustainability, with 33% of those responsible for $307.5 billion assets under management believing investors will become much more proactively involved in ensuring sustainability at companies they invest in, and 60% believe they will become slightly more involved.
Tresor Gold’s research found that the focus on ESG is broader than sustainability – 86% expect a bigger focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion at miners over the next three years. While investors believe that mining companies are doing a good job in general on ESG, they expect more work to be done on ESG reporting and transparency over the next five years, with 21% predicting a dramatic increase and 66% expecting a slight increase as the sector adapts to regulations from trade bodies and international groups.
“The mining industry has adapted effectively to the focus on ESG, but we certainly still have more work to do”, says Tony Lawson, Chief Executive Officer at Tresor Gold. The company is raising capital to scale its Sierra Leone-based gold projects to production over an 18-month period and to acquire strategic West African critical metal projects.
Tresor Gold focuses its acquisition, exploration, and development efforts on commercial grade gold and critical metal projects in West Africa. The company utilizes geotechnical data and predictive analytics to identify areas of favorable mineralization, and then leverages local knowledge and expertise to conduct due diligence through research of artisanal activity and soil sampling to structure effective drill programs.
Tresor Gold has a strong focus on positive sustainable impact and stewardship, with business practices shaped by the World Gold Council’s Responsible Mining Principles and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As the world transitions to a more sustainable future, the role of metals and mining in supplying essential components for new technologies is more critical than ever. The research is revealing in capturing key factors showing institutional investors are increasingly recognizing the importance of ESG when investing in mining companies. It highlights the growing trend among investors to view mining investments as impact investing when these companies are providing the fundamental metals essential to the development of new technologies. While mining companies have made strides in ESG reporting and transparency, there is still more work to be done to ensure the sustainability of their operations.