I just attended the biggest mining conference in the world...
...here's what I learned as a first timer.
As my first Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) wraps up, I have to say I’ve attended many conferences over the years across multiple industries, but the three days I spent in Toronto with the VRIFY team this week resulted in the most effective conference experience I’ve been a part of.
The VRIFY team split its time between engaging with new prospects and so many awesome people, as well as supporting our existing customer base, who were using VRIFY for podium presentations, Trade show exhibits and whipping out their I-pads to meet one and one with investors and stakeholders.
As a PDAC first-timer and newcomer to the mining industry as a whole, I have a different perspective on the industry than many, so while I am by no means an expert, I wanted to share a key theme I observed during keynote discussions and countless conversations and meetings over the past few days.
The Critical Mineral Supply Chain story needs to be told, and could be the key to unlocking significant non-traditional capital
As people (hopefully) read this post, it’s highly likely you’re using a mobile device or a laptop, many of you have driven around in your Tesla or other electric vehicles, had some breakfast and made yourself a coffee, with very little thought about the origin of the materials used to create the technology you’re using every day. The truth is, that none of these things exist without the critical minerals that mining projects extract from the earth every day.
When we think about climate change, and the journey to net carbon zero which is essential to the future of the planet, I like many other non-mining professionals, have very little understanding of the sheer magnitude of critical minerals the world requires to make some of the key changes that will actually enable the world to reduce its carbon footprint. Minerals like lithium to create batteries to fuel electric power, copper, steel and zinc to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels, and graphite, nickel and cobalt to build electric vehicles. Visual Capitalist does a great job of demonstrating this need in this visual representation: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/sp/climate-smart-mining-minerals-for-climate-action/
The answer to the origin of these materials is non-negotiable, we have to mine them.
This leaves the mining industry with a real challenge, but also a significant opportunity. And to execute agains that opportunity requires significant capital. By helping the general public understand the true supply chain and how these minerals are mined and processed, and how they turn into renewable energy sources, electric cars and in our everyday lives, there is an opportunity across the sector to change the way that the general public perceives the mining industry, and in doing so drive non-traditional capital across the sector from private investors and family offices.
To bridge this gap in understanding, mining companies need to re-evaluate traditional communication tactics and strategy and look for ways to tell the stories of their mining projects to a wider audience. This will help non-mining investors join the dots along the supply chain between the mining of critical minerals and the global manufacturing and distribution of the finished products that are the mainstay in our homes, but also so important in the journey to carbon zero. At VRIFY, we want to help mining companies tell these stories, and through satellite imagery, drone photography and 3D models, we believe we can arm the industry to communicate visually and transparently with investors and stakeholders at all levels of education and understanding. If successful, there is a real opportunity to transform the way mining companies communicate, and change the perception of the industry as a whole.