The mining industry has many strings attached. Unsafe working conditions, hazardous environmental impacts, and risky and expensive investments are just a few to be named. However, crowdfunding has the potential to change the face of the industry.
Although safety and environmental requirements, and technologies have improved, the mining industry still holds a rather negative reputation with the public. Through crowdfunding financing, mining companies will be forced to fully disclose financial interests, technological advances, as well as as environmental and worker protection schemes. The increased transparency should satisfy all ‘hidden’ impacts of mining projects, thereby allowing mining firms to gain greater support from the public that will be affected by the project.
The world’s first crowdfunding platform dedicated to supporting mining projects, has been recently launched. Approved projects will have undergone strict safety and regulatory requirement compliance checks, thereby encouraging investors and the public that these projects are worth the risks and investments. The final ‘OK’ for each potential project comes directly from the public.
Crowdfunding will provide the chance for 'startup' mining companies to finance small-scale projects that are safer and more technologically advanced. One crowdfunded campaign has raised over $1 million within 30 days, to deploy a space telescope in 2015 to search for nearby orbiting asteroids to mine. While it is still some time before we start importing minerals and water from outer-space, this crowdfunded telescope is a promising step forward that investors are less risk averse. There has been speculation that this project would not have gone forward through more traditional financing methods.
Since crowdfunding mining projects is still in its infancy, concrete statistics are currently unavailable, but all signs are pointing to a prospering new crowdfunding sector. It will up to public individual investors to determine whether the mining industry will be able to prosper.
Drake, D. (2014). Crowd-Financed Exploration: Striking Gold! http://crowdfundbeat.com/
Pearlman, R. (2013). Crowdfunding Raises $1 Million for Asteroid Miners' Public Space Telescope. www.space.com
Photo Credit: Rene Schwietzke https://bit.ly/p/GdHP7
Jasmien is currently studying a bachelors in Business Studies from Cass Business School in London while interning at Crowd Valley. Originally from Belgium, she grew up in Switzerland, Ethiopia, USA, and Japan.
She is very passionate about the start-ups, entrepreneurship, technology, and travelling; she aspires to one day become an entrepreneur.