Critical Mineral Shortages to Ease on Investment Surge, IEA Says – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – July 11,  2023)

(Bloomberg) — Shortages of battery metals and other critical minerals are looking less likely to stymie the transition to a low-carbon economy, the International Energy Agency said in a new report tracking a surge of investment into the mining sector.

Investment in the industry has jumped 50% over the past two years, driven chiefly by increases in lithium projects, and a host of newly announced projects indicates that supply is catching up with an anticipated boom in demand through to the end of the decade, the agency said in the report published Tuesday.

Two years ago, the agency warned that booming demand for critical minerals during the energy transition risked creating huge shortages of critical raw materials like lithium, cobalt, copper and nickel. There have been similar warnings from banks, consultancies, trading houses and miners themselves, but the IEA now says that a spending splurge on new mining projects is helping close the long-term gap between supply and demand.

“We look at the situation after raising alarm bells, and we are of the view that governments and companies have responded to this rather challenging situation,” Fatih Birol, the head of the IEA, said in an interview.

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