Conference Themes

Accelerating the Critical and Responsible Pathway to Net Zero

Organisations across the globe have committed to achieving net zero targets by 2050, while some have more ambitious goals, aiming for 2030. The mining sector and its extended value chains, play a crucial role in the transition to net zero. Not only do miners need to be fast-tracking the extraction of critical minerals vital for low-emissions technologies, but as an energy-intensive industry, the entire value chain, bear the responsibility of reducing their carbon emissions to reach this net zero goal.

IMARC 2024 will explore how the industry can accelerate the pathway to net zero in both a critical and responsible way, at the same time doing this in an efficient yet effective manner. This approach acknowledges the importance of mining’s role, while ensuring that responsible mining and ESG standards and obligations are also met. The conference will cover various aspects of the mining value chain, including investment and developments for mining projects across all commodities and decarbonisation strategies, commercialisation and applications of innovative technologies, alongside case studies from companies working towards this transition.

As Australia’s largest mining event connecting global leaders, IMARC 2024 will not only focus on Australia’s efforts, but also examine what other countries are doing to support the transition; from key mining jurisdictions like Canada, Chile, Peru and Mongolia, through to key countries in the downstream and midstream process like UK, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Korea and the USA.

Fast Tracking the Critical Minerals Value Chain

Fast Tracking the Critical Minerals Value Chain

The global energy transition creates pressure on critical mineral supply chains needed for future technologies. Funding, permitting, and ESG challenges hinder mining projects from progressing quickly. A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report identifies 110 new mining projects worth $39 billion, with $22 billion invested in developing countries. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, the industry may require 80 copper, 70 lithium, 70 nickel, and 30 cobalt mines. Investment needed from 2022 to 2030 is estimated at $360-450 billion, with a gap of $180-270 billion, primarily in copper and nickel. 

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Operationalising the Energy Transition through Innovation and Collaboration

Achieving net-zero targets in the mining industry will require significant investments in infrastructure and technologies. Shifting to electric equipment and renewable energy microgrids can lead to sustainable mining operations. Collaboration between industry, government, and stakeholders is essential to explore innovative methods. IMARC 2024's day two plenary, Mining Innovation, and Energy Transition & Decarbonisation streams focus on trends and innovative solutions for climate technology, electrification, and sustainable mining. IMARC will showcase how companies operationalise the energy transition through investment and transformation projects. 

Operationalising the Energy Transition through Innovation and Collaboration
Responsible Mining Initiatives that Contribute to Shared Prosperity

Responsible Mining Initiatives that Contribute to Shared Prosperity

Mining companies are facing increased scrutiny to uphold strong ESG standards. Transparency, accountability, and environmental business practices are essential, along with a community-centred approach to operations. Collaborative efforts are underway among major industry groups to streamline and simplify mining standards. There has also been an increase amongst industry to explore how indigenous groups and local communities can benefit from mining activities, fostering shared values and economic prosperity. Moreover, incorporating inclusion and diversity is also an integral part of responsible mining. IMARC’s day three plenary will focus on this theme, along with key sessions throughout the ESG Collaboration streamed agenda. 

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Leveraging Technology and Innovation to Achieve Productivity and Operational Excellence

The integration of innovative technologies such as AI, robotics, and drones into mining operations offers safer, more cost-efficient, and productive outcomes. These advancements have numerous benefits, but challenges like cybersecurity threats and interoperability issues remain. Lack of skills and change management also pose obstacles. To address these issues and assist METS companies in commercialising these new technologies, research and development in this field will play a crucial role. IMARC 2024 will showcase key technologies and mining innovation applications, not only on the exhibition floor, but also in the conference. 

Leveraging Technology and Innovation to Achieve Productivity and Operational Excellence
Accessing Capital for Project Development, Innovation and Commercialisation

Accessing Capital for Project Development, Innovation and Commercialisation

A diverse range of investors and lenders, including government and financial institutions, are needed to help address the capital constraints that hinder the growth of mining value chains. Capital is essential for early-stage exploration, project development, also where there are opportunities for growth, divestment, and increased production. However, even when available, feedback suggests that capital flows only to mining projects with the right credentials. It is not only miners requiring capital. METS companies, including those in R&D, also require funding to drive innovation and commercialise new technologies. IMARC remains an important platform for miners and METS companies internationally to showcase their projects and attract capital and partnerships to support industry growth. 

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Speeding Up the Project Lifecyle to Develop the Mines of the Future Quicker

New mining projects often face significant delays. These delays commonly arise from challenges related to obtaining permits, tackling technical problems, and addressing ESG concerns. As the demand for minerals increases, attracting new junior miners to the market, it becomes crucial to find ways to expedite the progress of these projects from exploration to production. Major and mid-tier miners also need assistance to efficiently launch or expand their projects. Collaboration among governments, investors, suppliers, community stakeholders, and end users is needed to align goals, implement strategies, address risks, and make investments. IMARC's new Mine & Project Development stream addresses topics that accelerate project timelines, supporting global demand for efficient project development. 

Opportunities for Global Trade and Investment
Opportunities for Global Trade and Investment

Opportunities for Global Trade and Investment

As international trade and investment opportunities open across various regions worldwide, the demand for critical minerals from Europe and the USA, as well as growing interest in renewables from Japan and South Korea, have paved the way for emerging opportunities and capabilities from countries such as Germany, France, Canada, Mongolia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. IMARC continues to be the number one platform in Australia for international delegations to converge about exploration, mining and METS opportunities, with participation from over 115 countries, including government representation from 51 countries. IMARC serves as an important avenue for highlighting collaboration, partnerships, capabilities, and opportunities. 

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