Contemporary policy rhetoric, including last week’s presentation by the federal minister of natural resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, suggests we are on the verge of a great energy transition away from fossil fuels toward cleaner, renewable sources of electric energy.
Electric vehicle mandates and fuel efficiency regulations are expected to lead to widespread adoption of electric cars in the coming decade. In addition, the growth of carbon taxes at the consumer and industrial level creates incentives to shift from coal, oil and gas to wind and solar, with increased reliance on battery technology and electric-powered vehicles and processes as a result.
Any widespread energy transition will require a super-charged increase in mining, especially of rare earths. A recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the minerals most needed for the coming transition.
Among them are lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite, copper, and aluminium. These seven represent the backbone of contemporary electrical technology.
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