The vital mineral resources found in Latin America and the Caribbean are essential for facilitating the global energy transition. However, it is imperative to prioritize the sustainability of mining operations in the region.

Harnessing Latin America and the Caribbean’s critical mineral resources is not only crucial for advancing the global energy transition but also for fostering the diversification of strategic supply chains for the US and Europe, thereby stimulating domestic economic growth within the region.

Yet, the responsible extraction and processing of these resources must be emphasized to mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts, particularly on indigenous communities. Latin America and the Caribbean exhibit the lowest performance in addressing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) concerns associated with critical mineral mining, underscoring the urgency of sustainable practices.

Effective oversight by industry regulators and collaboration among local and national governments are essential to uphold ESG standards throughout the critical minerals value chain. This includes ensuring compliance from Chinese companies, which may not adhere to international regulatory norms, thereby enhancing the sustainability of the mining sector and bolstering Western competitiveness in the area.

Crucially, meaningful consultation with local populations, particularly indigenous groups, should be initiated from the outset. Establishing a dialogue between stakeholders, investors, and communities is vital to foster trust and secure a “social license to operate,” going beyond mere compliance with ESG standards.

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