It’s an undeniable fact that the world needs more metals to deal with the effects of climate change and to achieve net zero by 2050. Renewable energy (solar panels, wind turbines), electrification of transportation and the need for more power infrastructure are only part of the demand picture.
There will also be a huge need to upgrade, replace and build new infrastructure to manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change, for example, in relation to sea walls, drainage systems and other facilities in low lying coastal cities.
Key minerals that will be required for the energy transition will include copper, lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, graphite, chromium, molybdenum, zinc, rare earths and silicon. Management and adaptation measures will require large amounts of materials like iron ore.
Even with efforts in relation to substitution, recycling and improved technologies to reduce demand for minerals, as well as the possibility of mining the ocean floor, there will still be a massive demand for minerals mined through open pit and underground methods.