Opinion: Alarming drop in mining derails drive for Net Zero – by Heather Exner-Pirot (Financial Post – May 11, 2023)


Green transition will take six times the mineral output world is producing now

The latest key Canadian and global mining production numbers are out, and they’re grim. The International Energy Agency says that to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, we need to be producing six times the current global output of mineral inputs just to build the turbines, transmission lines, batteries and other items essential for low-carbon energy infrastructure.

Instead, we are mining less than we did in 2019. While policy-makers constrain new investments in fossil fuels, the raw materials we need in order to develop alternative forms of energy are not coming along quickly enough. The result seems likely to be an energy crunch.

The 38th edition of the World Mining Data report, published annually by the Austrian government, finds that mining production is not meeting the hopes of governments working to increase their own domestic and friendly sources of minerals.

Rather, production has roughly plateaued, with the sector yet to match the peak production of 18 billion metric tons achieved in 2019. Far from growing our outputs, we’re struggling to maintain them.

For the rest of this column: https://financialpost.com/opinion/mining-decline-derails-drive-net-zero