Commodities of the future – by Molly Lempriere (Mining Technology – June 13, 2018)

The latest Deloitte mining trends report identifies ‘commodities of the future’ as one of the key turning points for the industry. MINE presents the commodities likely to make a splash on the market in the future, and those that may be better left in the past.

Deloitte’s report, Tracking the trends 2018: The top 10 issues shaping mining in the year ahead, ended with a section on the commodities of the future. Choosing which commodities to invest in and which to divest is an important challenge for mining decision-makers, especially as industrial needs change and environmental concerns come to the fore. Deloitte, therefore, presented its predictions, taking into account technological developments.

“Given how inextricably socioeconomic trends link to commodity demand, mining executives have long had to double as futurists,” says the Deloitte report. “To assess which commodities to invest in, and which to divest, miners need to keep their fingers on the pulse of fluctuating consumer demands, global demographic and economic shifts, and the effects of environmental change.”

As such, it is unsurprising that a great number of commodities on Deloitte’s watch list are those used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Around the world, the drive to reduce carbon emission in order to tackle climate change has led to increased electrification in many sectors.

Battery technology has become hugely important and the production of batteries has increased dramatically. Tesla alone is expecting to produce 35GWh of batteries this year, which would have been enough to cover the entire global demand just four years ago.

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