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Mining magnate proposes a new ‘green premium’ to counter cheap offshore minerals

Fortescue truck flag
Fortescue truck (courtesy SoCo Studios)

A resources mogul believes Australia can regain its competitive edge by charging more for eco friendly commodities.

Andrew Forrest (pictured) believes domestic producers would sell more if they marketed nickel as premium “green” product. This is touted to be more attractive for environmentally conscious buyers than cheaper Indonesian nickel extracted during coal processing.

“If you have got dirty nickel in your battery systems then you want to know about that because you do not want to propagate that and you want the choice to buy clean nickel if you can. So the London Metal Exchange must differentiate between clean and dirty,” he said according to Reuters.

The founding executive chairman of Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) also revealed his company faced high management turnover due to a global transition away from fossil fuels.

“When you go from a fossil fuel-burning company to a green energy company you are going to lose people who say, ‘What are you doing? You have got this fantastic economic model. You have the most successful company shareholder returns in decades in our company. Why are you fiddling around with it?'” he said according to News Limited.

The remarks came after former Northern Territory chief minister ­Michael Gunner and previous Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle resigned from their directing and board member positions at FMG. Their departures came just months after Fiona Hick and Christine Morris respectively stepped down from their chief executive and chief financial officer roles too.

Forrest defended his belief in climate change, a theory that burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide that can influence long-term weather patterns.

“We are not happy just sitting on our laurels with what we have achieved already. Lots of people think that is not for them and I think that is completely fine,” he said according to the media outlet.

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