ImpactAlpha, January 5 – The hottest new sustainable investing trend is entering new territory: mining.
Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Capital is, a new SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, is looking to raise $200 million to invest in companies supporting “the electrification of industry and society,” Bloomberg reports. The blank-check company, launched by mining sector billionaire Robert Friedland, will target opportunities from “mine site to the end user” including metal mining and refining companies, as well as battery and electric vehicle producers and e-transport ventures, according to an SEC filing.
The mining industry is seeking to shed its reputation for environmental destruction and human rights violations – and highlight demand for lithium and other minerals needed for electric vehicles and smart phones. Initiatives including the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining are working to improve standards, transparency and accountability.
The global push to “electrify everything” will add new pressures as demand for high-value metals grows.
Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines, a developer of large-scale mining projects in Africa, has been embroiled in controversy over worker conditions and its COVID-19 lockdown response at its Kamoa-Kakula project site, a copper mining operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company denies allegations by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and touts the safety record of its Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Ivanhoe says it is committed to aligning its operations with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and “ensure that better long-term, sustainable benefit is derived from the African nations’ natural resources through the creation of a social compact between government, labour, business and communities.”