Mr. William E. (Bill) Cobb
Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer – Freeport-McMoRan Americas
“Meeting Escalating Stakeholder Expectations of the Mining Sector”
ABSTRACT: The tidal wave of expectations surrounding metals crucial for the rapidly escalating transition to a low-carbon economy, coupled with an increased focus on environmental-social-governance attributes and disclosures, makes 2021 an interesting year for the mining sector. Core issues include safe management of tailings facilities and respect for cultural heritage, both having intense focus and scrutiny. Responsible production, demonstrated through due diligence efforts, increasingly is being pushed throughout the integrated supply/value chains of these crucial metals. These, along with the global challenges of finding/bringing new production online, must be balanced against all stakeholder interests and needs.
William E. (Bill) Cobb is Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. He is responsible for environmental services and sustainable development for Freeport-McMoRan, a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mr. Cobb manages a diverse global team and oversees all areas of the company touching environmental and sustainability functions. His responsibilities include: environmental compliance and EMS implementation; permitting and impact assessment; technology development and implementation; land and water asset management; community and investor engagement; corporate-wide reporting of environmental, social, and economic metrics under the Global Reporting Initiative and development of the company’s Annual Report on Sustainability; discontinued operations management, redevelopment and sale; operations closure and reclamation; and remediation of historic environmental liabilities. Currently, he is the Accountable Executive for Freeport-McMoRan’s legacy/closed/reclaimed tailings impoundments.
Mr. Cobb has more than 40 years of experience as an environmental professional, including 16 years with Freeport-McMoRan. Prior to joining the company, he was a consultant for 19 years focusing on diverse environmental/business issues and spent the first five years of his career providing environmental support at a minerals exploration/development company.
He serves as Chair of the Principal Liaisons Committee of the International Council on Metals and Mining, Chair of the Wildlife Habitat Council Board of Directors, and is a member of Arizona Forward’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Cobb received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Science in Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines.
He and his wife Shirlee have two children and reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Freeport-McMoRan operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum and is one of the world’s largest publicly traded copper producers. Its portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; and significant mining operations in North America and South America including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in Arizona and the Cerro Verde operation in Peru.