The electric and hybrid vehicles industry requires a number of critical metals in addition to cobalt and lithium to keep pace with the increasing demand for the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries needed to power electric and hybrid vehicles.
Recently the CTV News website presented an article about new efforts in Canada to support mining of these materials to meet the needs of the EV market. According to the article, the federal and Ontario governments announced they will each contribute $295 million to help Ford Canada produce electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont., while also vowing to help Fiat Chrysler in its plans to invest up to $1.5 billion at its Windsor, Ont., plant. Tesla has also promised big contracts for miners around the world who increase nickel production for batteries.
More than $1 trillion of investment will be needed in key energy transition metals — aluminum, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium — over the next 15 years just to meet the growing demands of decarbonization if global warming is to be kept to less than two degrees by 2050, according to a recent report by consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie. That’s almost double the figure invested over the previous 15 years.
Canada is well-endowed with copper, aluminum and nickel resources and could attract some of those investment dollars, says report author Julian Kettle, Wood Mackenzie’s vice-chairman of metals and mining, but it faces the same price-related issues as the rest of the world.
The cost of electric vehicles is expected to decline to reach parity with internal combustion vehicles in 2024 and 2025 and consumer demand could skyrocket in a very short period of time, Kettle said.
Advancing Mining recently reported on another effort to develop critical metals such as lithium and cobalt. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has announced a collaboration with Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Canada to form the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative, as explained in the announcement:
“The goal of the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative will be to build a diversified supply of critical minerals in Australia, Canada, and the United States. The Initiative will accomplish this by developing a better understanding of known critical mineral resources, determining geologic controls on critical mineral distribution for deposits currently producing byproducts, identifying new sources of supply through critical mineral potential mapping, and promoting critical mineral discovery in all three countries.
“An intent of the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative is to learn more through each country’s past and on-going efforts, and, together, forge new knowledge that can be applied to the three national geological surveys continuing mineral resource research. For instance, the Geological Survey of Canada and Geoscience Australia have extensive experience with nationwide subsurface mineral potential mapping, which the USGS hopes to learn from as it carries out its own effort through the Earth Mapping Resource Initiative, or Earth MRI.”
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