Mining giant unveils what world would need to ‘go green’
The transition of the global economy to carbon neutrality will multiply the need for metals used in the electric vehicle (EV) industry in the next 30 years, Australian mining giant BHP said on Wednesday.
“Some of the modelling that we have done showed that in, let’s say, a decarbonized world... the world will need almost double the copper in the next 30 years than in the past 30,” Vandita Pant, BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, said at the FT Commodities Asia Summit.
Pant added that the need for nickel will quadruple in the next three decades.
“So four times [the] nickel needed for the next 30 years than the past 30 years and all to be done as sustainably as possible,” Pant specified.
Both nickel and copper are widely used in the EV industry, with nickel essential for EV batteries while copper is needed to wire electric cars and charging stations. Thus, with an increased demand for electric vehicles as a result of the transition away from fossil fuels, both metals are on course for record consumption.
Earlier this week, Swiss-based commodity trading firm Trafigura warned of possible deficits for copper and nickel resulting from rapidly growing demand.
“Some of these metals are just not going to be available due to the increase in demand,” Trafigura CEO Jeremy Weir stated.
He noted that supplies could dwindle partly due to the fact that metals from certain locations have a very high carbon footprint. This goes against the ‘green’ agenda, unless companies modernize mines in accordance with environmental and safety standards. Pant echoed these claims, noting that traceability and sustainability are becoming some of the main requirements for the metal industry.
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