PDAC reinforces importance of critical minerals – by Kelsey Rolfe (Canadian Mining Journal – March 9, 2023)


The increasing demand for critical minerals such as copper, zinc and cobalt factored prominently during the first day of the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s 2023 conference in Toronto. But a new report, released in time for the convention, forecast that junior and intermediate miners will face exploration budget challenges in 2023 that could slow the project pipeline for those metals.

During the conference’s commodities session on March 5, Randy Smallwood, chief executive officer of Wheaton Precious Metals, highlighted the drivers behind five commodities and potential headwinds facing each metal.

Trends in electrification, growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries and global decarbonization efforts are driving the price of copper upward, with analysts predicting the metal could reach as high as US$7 per pound by 2025.

Smallwood noted that new supply is coming on in the next few years, citing Teck Metals’ Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 megaproject in Chile, which is slated to go into production this year. But a structural deficit of copper production relative to demand for the metal is expected in the next few years. He also pointed out that many copper projects are based in “challenging jurisdictions” that could add to supply instability.

For the rest of this article: https://magazine.cim.org/en/news/2023/pdac-reinforces-importance-of-critical-minerals-en/