Brendan McLaughlin, +1 206.892.8832, email@example.com
Storebrand Asset Management, Norway’s largest private asset management company, announced today that it will divest from companies with mining operations that use marine or riverine tailings disposal or companies involved in deep sea mining.
In the coming days two of the newly excluded companies, Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold, are hoping to secure final approval for the Wafi Golpu mine in Papua New Guinea. The copper-gold mine would dump hundreds of millions of tonnes of mine waste containing arsenic, lead, mercury, manganese and other heavy metals into the ocean. The project faces stiff opposition from local communities.
Dumping mine waste into natural water bodies is prohibited by many international institutions and processes. Norway and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries pursuing new projects that would use the practice. Storebrand joins Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered, all of which have adopted policies to prohibit or severely restrict the practice of ocean dumping. Downstream users in the electric vehicle and tech sectors are also increasingly concerned that risks from dirty mining will undermine the shift to clean energy.
Below is a statement from Ellen Moore, Earthworks’ International Mining Campaign Manager.
“The investment sector is sending a clear message that ocean and riverine dumping is the worst of the worst when it comes to mine waste management. Congratulations to Storebrand for calling it like it is. The government of Papua New Guinea should respect communities’ right to a clean and healthy environment and reject permits for the Wafi Golpu mine before irreparable damage is done.”