Energy Transition Faces Metal Supply Deficit, Canada Miners Say – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – September 29, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The world needs more mines to meet demand for copper and other battery metals required to shift to less polluting energy sources — even if such moves are seen as environmentally unappealing, according to Hudbay Minerals Inc. financial chief.

Any credible prognosis shows that copper faces a structural deficit of five to seven million tons starting in the next three or four years, Hudbay Chief Financial Officer Steve Douglas said Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Canadian Fixed Income Conference. And yet, any energy transition can’t happen without copper, he said.

“The table is being set at least for those metals that will contribute to the decarbonization of the world,” Douglas said. “You’re going to have to either stimulate or allow to be built an awful lot of the extractive-type industries that would get the scarlet letter in the environmental side — you’re not going to decarbonize the world without it.”

The ability to build mines in a world where extractive resource industries has become more challenging as investors put greater weight on the environmental credentials of metals producers, while social issues including dealing with local communities have also been under the spotlight.

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