A bumpy road for metals and mining – by Alex Brinded (Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining – November 27, 2023)


Post London Metal Exchange Week 2023, Wood Mackenzie hosted a briefing on the risks and opportunities for metals and mining amid accelerated energy transition pressures.

‘The current metals super-cycle, which is a major component of the global energy transition, could stall due to a gloomy global macroeconomic environment, geopolitics and a lack of investment in new production facilities,’ according to analysts from Wood Mackenzie.

Speaking at a briefing in London, Nick Pickens, Research Director of Global Mining at the firm, highlighted that US$200bln of new mining projects are required by 2030, as well as more efficient and creative methods of recycling existing scrap metals.

‘A 7-10-year lead time for new mining projects makes meeting supply/demand requirements difficult,’ Pickens said. ‘Combined with mid-term uncertainties for demand and metal prices, the situation does create some serious headwinds for the metals super-cycle.’

Pickens identified several hurdles. In light of environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, emissions and a social licence to operate are both “becoming more difficult as we trend towards a net-zero world.

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