Littering the abyssal plain of the Pacific Ocean are an estimated 21 billion tonnes worth of polymetallic nodules containing high grades of manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt – the so-called “battery metals” that Tesla (Nasdaq:TSLA) has warned may soon be in short supply.
They sit on top of the sea floor just waiting to be hoovered up, and several companies, including one from Vancouver, DeepGreen Metals, is in the race to begin harvesting them.
Getting the 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 that U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to will require a massive shift to renewable energy and electric cars.
For electric car batteries alone, a fivefold-to-sixfold increase in copper, nickel and cobalt may be needed by 2025, according to a recent report by Aperio Intelligence.
The World Bank estimates a 1,000% increase in battery metals will be needed by 2050, and cites research in Nature warning that “the world cannot tackle climate change without adequate supply of raw materials to manufacture clean technologies.”
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