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Energy transition: The benefit and risk behind metals and minerals dominance in Canada – Canadian Mining Journal

April 3, 2024

The demand for critical metals and minerals is advancing dramatically as energy transition gathers momentum globally. Rare metals and minerals are essential to many clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, electricity transmission, and electric vehicles (EVs).

But when comparing fossil fuel-based resources such as hydrocarbons with the metals and minerals needed to meet emerging needs to build renewable power generation assets and energy storage devices, the numbers are staggering. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it takes six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car to power an EV and nine times more for a wind plant than its gas-fired counterpart. It is anticipated that nickel production and output will need to double by 2030, and the demand for metals and minerals will need to increase a whopping six times what it is today by 2040 to meet net-zero targets.

The race is on

This demand curve poses both a benefit and risk to Canada’s minerals industry, along with the ecosystem it supports. While countries outside Canada are ramping up production at pace and looking to shape the supply chain crucial to the new EV industrial base, we may already be playing catch up.

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