Updating perceptions of mining

Modern mining critical for the green economy

Having spent the last 12-years working as a geologist on exploration and mining projects across Europe, Africa and Asia, Ben Lepley felt like he needed a change.

Working with SRK Consulting in Cardiff, Ben has now made the leap from the geology team where he spent much of his time modelling mineral deposits, to the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) team.

Explaining the decision to change roles, Ben said:

“I’ve always been an environmentally-conscious person and I felt that my previous role didn’t give me enough time to look at ‘big picture’ environmental issues. Geology is fascinating – I did my degree in the subject and it interests me greatly – but I was just as intrigued by the environmental impact of mining and other industries. I’ve now got the chance to pursue that interest more fully in my career.”

“Environmental and social issues are the number one focus for miners, investors in mining projects and the general public who have an interest in mining. They want to see the company, whoever it is, putting the environment and social issues as their number one priority.”

“There’s been a lot more media coverage of mining projects within the UK, which is really welcome, and with climate change now front and centre of world news, that’s going to bring more focus on the role minerals and mining have to play in protecting the environment through low-carbon technologies.”

Changing perceptions

Ben, co-chair of the Critical Minerals Association’s Perceptions of Mining Working Group, is working to help encourage the public, particularly young people, to think more deeply about mining and to better appreciate what modern mining entails and the opportunities it offers.

With the growth of the green economy and renewables technology dependent on metals such as copper and silver (which are part of the deposit Dalradian’s underground mine in Tyrone is proposing to extract), Ben and the Critical Minerals Association are keen to see the perception of mining change.

“Part of the reason there’s been a decline in students interested in anything geoscience related is that they don’t have a real perception of modern mining or geosciences’ critical importance in tackling climate change. But there are great careers in it, including for people like me who are passionate about the environment.”

“If you do care about the world and about climate change then mining is a serious career option. It might not be obvious, but mining is incredibly beneficial to the world around us and is to the fore in developing innovative, green ways of doing business.”

Visit to find out more about the roles that will be offered by Dalradian.


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