CRU: Teck Chief Calls for Faster Mine Permitting for Energy Transition

Written by CRU Americas

Governments need to speed up permitting of new mines to boost the chances of meeting a surge in demand for raw materials vital to feed the transition to clean energy, according to Teck’s CEO Jonathan Price.


“Across government and industry, there is growing awareness that supporting the low-carbon transition and our growing population means meeting new demand for critical minerals,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. “And that means working together to get new mines online faster.”

But that also means paying attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

“Miners need to do a better job not just meeting, but exceeding ESG expectations to justify getting new production online faster. If you (a mining company) don’t have a strong ESG track record, you simply won’t get the necessary support of governments, communities, and indigenous peoples needed to operate and grow,” Price said at a Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce event in London.

Permits can take more than a decade to obtain. Canada, where Teck Resources is headquartered, last year pledged to review the process with the aim of reducing the time required to bring mines into production by avoiding duplication and ensuring early indigenous consultation and engagement.

Price’s comments are similar to those made by LKAB’s CEO Jan Mostrom last month. The Swedish miner intends to submit a processing concession application later this year for rare earth metals at Kiruna, home to its main iron ore mine.

“Experience has shown that permitting often takes too long and considerable focus is sometimes placed on formalities, and that the underlying purpose of the planned operation takes second place to details in the permit application …

“Various societal interests must be weighed against each other in the permit application process. What these interests are is not always clear. Society has no time to lose in realizing the climate transition. Seeing the big picture and managing this will be crucial,” he added.