More fossil fuels and other commodities need to be refined domestically, a mining boss said.
Jakob Stausholm supported recent calls for the minerals sector to transition away from international production and return to Australian processing.
“One of the things that we have not been really good at in the West is that western companies, in general, just basically do not work too much on their supply chain and … just buy things on the market,” Rio Tinto’s chief executive said in a YouTube video.
“A lot of western countries have basically abolished all their processing and manufacturing over a couple of decades in the name of globalisation. That is, of course, a political choice in different countries.”
Stausholm also suggested to the 2023 World Economic Forum’s electric decade panel that Australia and other developed nations should counter Chinese Communist Party efforts to ramp up “supply chain security” across East Asia.
“It is a wonderful thing to rely on the market until the market is suddenly not there. We have had a few disruptions here during COVID and with the recent war [in Ukraine],” he can be heard saying.
He believes the global transition away from coal, diesel and other fossil fuels will take much longer than expected.
“People say Australia [is] perfect [with] lots of sun, lots of space – it is not that easy,” he said.
“The world has not really done this at-scale yet and that is why I think sometimes we are fooling ourselves a little bit on the timeline. It is going to take time, and it actually raises another question – whether people have to look at a nuclear [power] as well.”