A World Bank report recently forecasted that we would need more than 3 billion tons of metals and minerals to limit the rise in global temperatures by 2 degrees by 2050. That’s more than 3 billion tons in raw materials for solar, wind, and battery storage.
The World Bank is not the only one. The International Monetary Fund reported in December that the future demand for metals and minerals may well top the current global supply. The IMF also said that “The needed ramp-up in mining investment and operations could be challenging.”
The forecast surge in demand is certainly great news for the mining industry, which has been a pariah for ages due to its massive environmental impact. Now, somewhat ironically, it is about to turn into the one indispensable industry for the energy transition.
Still, big miners are treading cautiously. Battery metals such as nickel, cobalt, and, of course, lithium, are in the spotlight when there’s any kind of discussion about the energy transition. As the IMF notes, a typical EV battery pack contains some 8 kilograms of lithium, 35 kilograms of nickel, 20 kilograms of manganese, and 14 kilograms of cobalt.
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