Unpacking our climate change scenario analysis

Understanding climate-related risks and opportunities allows us to align our business strategy with stakeholder demands of the industry, enhance sustainability efforts throughout the organisation, create resilience to climate change-related impacts and maximise value for all stakeholders.  

In 2021, Gem Diamonds engaged an independent external expert to conduct an organisation-specific climate change scenario analysis (CCSA) that considers a mix of quantitative and qualitative information. Data from the Carbon Brief and World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal was used to determine climate-related physical impacts specific to the Group's locations. The current open-pit life of mine for Letšeng was considered in determining appropriate timeframes in the short, medium and long term.  

The Shared Socio‐Economic Pathway model is a GHG concentration trajectory model, adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and includes consideration of 1.4°C, 1.9°C, 3.3°C and 6.0°C temperature increases. The 6.0°C datasets were used as critical information and represent the world economy in the current format without climate adaption and initiatives. These four climate scenarios, modelled on potential temperature increases by the end of the century, were included in the Group’s assessment of physical climate-related impacts. 

General circulation models (GCMs), also called global climate models, which simulate the physics of the climate itself, were also used. These models consider the flows of air and water in the atmosphere and/or the oceans as well as the transfer of heat. The most recent subset of GCMs now incorporate biogeochemical cycles and can simulate the carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, atmospheric chemistry, ocean ecology, and vegetation and land use changes, which all affect how the climate responds to human caused GHG emissions. An ensemble of GCM models was used to determine our Group locations' climate-related changes and impacts.  

To understand the impact of climate-related events on our mining activity, we linked climate issues to production impact by considering factors such as human health and behaviour, water, energy and vegetation changes. Parameters such as temperature, heat waves, cold waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes and storms directly affect human health and behaviour. Precipitation, evaporation, drought and wind factors will generally increase operational challenges and present a resultant risk to the mining sector. 

This research reflects our measured and science-based approach to understanding the impact of climate change and will inform the work to be conducted in Phases 2 and 3 of our TCFD roadmap.