Hogsback on new age coal miners

HOGSBACK is starting to get nostalgic about the olden days when it was the job of a coal mining company to dig and load the black stuff.
Hogsback on new age coal miners Hogsback on new age coal miners Hogsback on new age coal miners Hogsback on new age coal miners Hogsback on new age coal miners

These days coal miners have to care about the planet, the community, and the local environment first before getting down to the business of mining.  

Not only do they have to worry about the emissions they produce while mining coal, they have to be responsible for the environmental record of their end customers - regardless of where they are located.

This "Scope 3" requirement was one of the main reasons Gloucester Resources' proposed Rocky Hill project was knocked back by the New South Wales Land and Environment Court earlier this year.

According to a report by Deloitte, coal mining companies must now urgently transform themselves into "social enterprises" if they wish to operate in today's world.

Social enterprises are organizations whose mission combines revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network.

"This year, we believe the pressures that have driven the rise of the social enterprise have become even more acute," the report states.

"Leading a social enterprise is about recognizing that, while businesses must generate a profit and deliver a return to shareholders, they must do so while also improving the lot of workers, customers, and the communities in which we live.

"And in today's world, with today's societal challenges, fulfilling this aim requires reinvention on a broad scale."

This is not about tinkering at the edges, according to the report.

"We recognize that reinvention can be a daunting prospect, especially when our survey shows that many organizations are not ready to address the changes," it states.

Re-invention is indeed a daunting prospect - especially when there is pressure to cut coal at a low cost and while maintaining the highest safety standards.  

It can become even more problematic if there are protestors chaining themselves to mining equipment or generally disrupting production along the supply chain.

The Australian mining industry has made a big investment in ESG - environmental, social, and governance.  

In part, this is due to the impact of ethical funds who only invest in companies that are transparent and report on their ESG standards. There has also been growing community pressure and the ongoing chorus of environmental protestors.

There has been a lot of progress by coal mining companies in recent years which has not been adequately recognised.

Hogsback reckons coal mining companies must operate in today's world and address these ESG issues but there must be space for them to operate and get on with just mining coal.