ESG and commodity price uncertainty top risks for ASX miners

20th March 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

ESG and commodity price uncertainty top risks for ASX miners

Climate change has seized the spotlight as the primary risk confronting the Australian mining industry in 2024, despite its absence from last year’s rankings.

According to the latest mining risk forecast by KPMG, the shift underscores Australia’s growing emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

KPMG Australia risk consulting partner Caron Sugars notes a heightened awareness among industry stakeholders of the potential impact of climate change on future operations.

Alongside climate change concerns, factors such as the 2050 net-zero target and evolving regulatory frameworks contribute to the complexity of compliance and sustainability.

ESG challenges, including community relations and social licence to operate, have returned to the forefront of mining executive’s concerns, securing the second position on the KPMG list. Commodity price uncertainty follows closely as the third-largest risk, a shift from the previous year where it held the top spot.

While talent attraction and retention remain important, they have dropped to tenth position in the risk analysis.

Surprisingly, cyber and IT security risks have not made it into the top ten, despite the expanding cybersecurity threat landscape. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks’ report for 2024  identifies cyber insecurity as a significant risk over both short- and long-term horizons.

KPMG suggests that mining organisations may be integrating cybersecurity risks into broader approaches to digital innovation and supply chain management, viewing them as part of a spectrum of operational risks that require collective management.  

The KPMG ‘Australian Mining Risks Forecast 2024’ is based on an examination of the self-reported material risks of designated mining companies in the ASX300.