A shift in the global energy system away from fossil fuels is expected to result in steep increases in demand for some metals and other materials
Concern grows over the increase in consumption of some metals to support the shift towards clean energy and electric vehicles.
Clean energy technologies often rely on certain key metals which will be needed if they are to continue to expand. Two metals, in particular, lithium and cobalt, have seen supply chain fears in recent years, although many other metals are used.
In order to mitigate this problem, the U.S, Canada, and Australia have launched an international effort to help find new deposits of these key minerals.
Lithium, a soft, silvery-white metal which is also the lightest in the periodic table, is a crucial ingredient of lithium-ion batteries. These are used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles (EVs), now their biggest consumer. The lithium-ion battery is the battery of choice for most car makers, including Tesla, BMW, Ford, and Nissan.
Cobalt, a silver-grey metal produced mainly a byproduct of copper and nickel mining, is another essential component of the cathode in lithium-ion batteries. It also has diverse uses in other industrial and military applications.
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